Author Topic: Farming Culture  (Read 102 times)

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Offline MH

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Farming Culture
« on: May 05, 2018, 09:04:02 am »
https://grist.org/article/ednote/

Farmers  (like Miners, Foresters, Fishers and such) are often evoked as the heart of a nation's workers.  But about 2% of people make their living primarily through farming now, as opposed to 40% a century ago according to this article.

This is a good read about what is happening in farming.  It also makes sense that China is threatening the US with Soy tariffs in retaliation as those people are in Iowa and Trumpland.

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Offline wilber

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 10:18:07 am »
https://grist.org/article/ednote/

Farmers  (like Miners, Foresters, Fishers and such) are often evoked as the heart of a nation's workers.  But about 2% of people make their living primarily through farming now, as opposed to 40% a century ago according to this article.

This is a good read about what is happening in farming.  It also makes sense that China is threatening the US with Soy tariffs in retaliation as those people are in Iowa and Trumpland.

Our survival depends on 2% of the population. Something to consider.
"Never trust a man without a single redeeming vice" WSC

Offline MH

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2018, 10:54:29 am »
Our survival depends on 2% of the population. Something to consider.

Such is the risk in specialization, I suppose.  Your survival also depends on banking and online banking security.  Probably a handful of people in Canada.

Offline wilber

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2018, 12:00:43 pm »
Such is the risk in specialization, I suppose.  Your survival also depends on banking and online banking security.  Probably a handful of people in Canada.

Different kind of survival. No money, surely many will suffer but you canít eat money. No food, everyone dies. Modern western society has no concept of what a famine actually means.
"Never trust a man without a single redeeming vice" WSC

Offline MH

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2018, 02:18:00 pm »
Different kind of survival. No money, surely many will suffer but you canít eat money.

You buy food with money.

Quote
No food, everyone dies. Modern western society has no concept of what a famine actually means.

Nor do they understand interdependency.  Do you know how much of your food comes from Canada ?  Do you know who supports your communication infrastructure or the effect a Google crash, a disruptive sunspot, or the effect Chinese boycott of US bonds would have ?

Offline Omni

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2018, 02:22:52 pm »
Seems to me we lived a long time without Google, but not so long w/o grub.
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Offline wilber

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2018, 04:28:26 pm »
You buy food with money.



Only if there is food to be bought.
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Offline MH

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2018, 08:02:59 pm »
Only if there is food to be bought.

Breakdown of the economy would be an instant disaster is the point. 

Offline wilber

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2018, 10:06:09 pm »
Breakdown of the economy would be an instant disaster is the point.

Of course it would be a disaster but you can't buy what isn't there to be bought, no matter how much money is available in the economy.
"Never trust a man without a single redeeming vice" WSC

Offline Omni

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2018, 11:33:52 pm »
I grew up on a small farm in Ontario and before I went to school I had an education about farming in that I learned that you fed hay into one end of cows, horses, goats, etc.,  and then you shoveled the shit out of the other end, kept it all winter long and in the spring spread it over the and by God the next thing you knew you had more hay to keep the cycle going. That cycle doesn't pay attention to any high fallutin' bullshit. Ignore it and we die.

Offline MH

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2018, 06:34:34 am »

I - and I suspect many Canadians - grew up close to farms and farmers, and of course food is necessary for life etc.  But in a discussion of economics, there are trade-offs and risks.  To say that the system is well-designed to take these into account is an overstatement, but if you acknowledge that there are flaws then you have to acknowledge that some of those come from economic ignorance of the voting public.

They have, roughly, two buttons that drive their decisions: self-interest and altruism.  The invisible hand of Adam Smith drives efficiencies and market pricing but there is no scientific equivalent in the altruism part. 

Hence we have 'stories' about certain businesses and professions that are imbued with a romantic pathos.  If you think that that's a good idea, then you are on board with Trump invoking the Coal Worker as the epitome of the real American worker when more Americans work in libraries, at Arby's etc.  Likewise, family farming is going away and being replaced with large industrial producers.

Saying that 'food is important' doesn't help bring understanding to what is happening today.


Offline wilber

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2018, 12:47:34 pm »
Food is traded like other commodities but it is anything but just another commodity. There is no question that our planet would not be able to sustain 7 billion people without modern farming practices and there are lots of economic arguments to be made around big and single crop farming. Regardless, farming is about the cultivation and manipulation of life itself.  Along with a breathable atmosphere and drinkable water, food is necessary for our survival. Take just one of those three away and we die, so the comparison with coal and other commodities is not valid. Food production is also subject to the vagaries of weather, climate and disease which makes single crop production more risky.

Modern farming and the ability to ship out of season foods all over the world have made us oblivious to the real consequences of not having access to food. As recently as the 1840's a potato blight caused a million Irish to starve and another million to leave the country. That was in Europe, not sub Saharan Africa.

Forget any romantic pathos, family farms just put much more back into their local economies than industrial farming
"Never trust a man without a single redeeming vice" WSC

Offline MH

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2018, 03:26:29 pm »
Well, you have made a good case for family farming. 

Are there still areas in which family farms thrive ?  It seems to me that they do in niche areas only.

Offline wilber

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Re: Farming Culture
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2018, 09:28:14 pm »
Well, you have made a good case for family farming. 

Are there still areas in which family farms thrive ?  It seems to me that they do in niche areas only.

Quite a few in my neck of the woods, poultry, dairy and berries mostly but other crops too. Fruit and wineries in the Okanagan as well.

"Never trust a man without a single redeeming vice" WSC