Agriculture Isn't All About The Money Revisited
I had thought that I had said it all in the original hub "Agriculture Isn't All About The Money," but after reading an answer to a question posted on Answers.com (and which I had to delete and rewrite because most of the answer was incorrect anyway), I realized I had not.
It wasn't the entire answer itself that irked me, but what was added as a final point. It said something to the effect of "...this type of farming benefits the producer and his family...therefore no income is collected." In other words, it is beneficial, in the eyes of the person answering this question, if the producer does not get any income (or even profit) from all that hard work done to produce crops and livestock. In other words, it is seen as a good thing if a farmer isn't "doing it for the money," or quite literally gets nothing in return for the ass-bustin' a producer has to go through in order to put food on the table of that imbecile that wrote that very "fact."
Wow. It's like a dagger to the heart, like salt being poured into a wound, worse than that! It's like saying that farmers, producers, PEOPLE who comprise so few of the population don't even have a right to make a living like other "normal" people do--it's like saying farmers or producers aren't even human! That, to me, is the most disgusting, degrading, belittling, irresponsible thing I've ever read. It really goes to show you how clueless people are about farming.
I Challenge You!!
Now let's think about this phrase for a bit here. What is it telling you? Well, from my stand point it says to me that many people believe that people who farm are greedy, money-grabbing, land-massacring, animal-murdering monsters of giant corporations that don't care about anything except themselves. These same people seem to believe that farmers aren't normal or like anybody else, and thus don't deserve the same societal, financial, or ethical benefits that "normal" people or "everyone else" gets. The problem with this view is that it is very unrealistic and VERY unfair. It's equivalent to denying the normal human being a right to choose how they want to live or anything that the Civil Rights groups states how humans can live, act or think.
This is where I wish to challenge you or anyone who is reading this and agrees with the very statement above. Put yourself in the situation of a producer who has to run a farm and look after his or her family. If you were expected to make absolutely no income from the crops produced and livestock raised in order to feed other families, tell me, how do you pay taxes? How do you pay for electricity bills, water bills, veterinary bills and natural gas bills? How can you manage to pay for fuel to drive machinery and run your farm truck, fertilizer to help your crops grow, and feed to feed your animals? What about even repairing machinery that are used to make feed to keep your animals fat and sassy, how are you going to pay for that? Even worse, how in the heck are you going to feed your family (assuming most or all products produced on that farm are for other people, not yourself), clothe them, school your kids and maintain a roof over their heads? Do you think that you're going to be able to get all of this for free and not have to pay a cent for anything? Do you think that the government is going to be able to pay for all the things you have to get to maintain and run your farm in the form of a welfare cheque? Do you even think that a welfare cheque from the government will even be enough to run a farm without any form of off-farm income or getting anything for the crops harvested and animals processed into meat to feed other families?? I dare you to find an answer to these questions, and I would give you a million dollars if you can truthfully, realistically and fully answer these questions!
But don't waste your breath, because you won't be able to answer any of these questions on a real-world basis. (I don't even have a million dollars to just give away, so we're both hooped there.) I find it ironic how people can complain about the prices of fuel and price hikes in food and turn around and say that it's bad that farmers make money from farming. So how do you expect a farmer to live? Nothing is for free, and a lot of what goes into making a farm tick has to come out of the farmer's pockets, from the "profits" made from selling livestock and harvested crops. This balance does not always lean in the favor of profitability; quite frankly it almost never does if you're going to farm with a lot of machinery and a lot of time spent working your ass off.
Farmers are People Too!
Like all people, farmers are as compassionate, caring, helpful, humble, generous, loyal and considerate as anybody else. They DO care about the environment, the animals in their care, the people they interact with (often dropping everything they're doing to help out a friend, family member or neighbor in need), and the land they live on. They often won't hesitate speak their mind about something, and are probably the most hardest working people you'll meet. For all the things they do, they DO deserve to get paid for it, and they often don't get paid enough.
A producer needs to pay taxes and utility bills just like you or I and you and my parents do. They have to pay for fuel, spend money to feed their families, to allow their kids to get an education, put clothes on their backs and keep a roof over their heads. Just like you or me.
They deserve and have the same rights as you do. So to say that it is bad that producers make money from the things they produce to put food in your mouth is being very ignorant and even hypocritical to the real facts of how farms are run and managed. You are simply kidding yourself if you believe that making money from producing food is bad.