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Just what has happened to our farming/livestock culture in America? Everywhere I turn, I read more stories about livestock farms expanding and growing to record levels --- to meet consumer demands. Now, these MEGAFARMS which are putting a "WALMART" style --- "pack em in and up the roof --- damn the torpedos or in this case environmental and health impact, we need more $/per sq. inch of space" -----

When will it end? When millions die from induced cattle, genetically engineering poultry, poisoned water supplies? I am no left wing kook nor liberal advocate, but just what in the H3LL is going on with our culture?

Read this article on MEGAFARMING and please let me know if you can help me understand/validate any of the claims....I personally don't truly understand it all --- all in the name of consumer greed? I really doubt it --- I think it is due to the greed of the corporations and their creation of this "outrageous food demands driving prices down" --- Hell, I would pay more for food if I knew that it was grown on small farms with safe and careful guidelines and helping to patronize families instead of MEGAFARM conglomerates.... Anyone have any opinions/input on this? I don't mean to be like Chicken Little here --- but is the sky falling in the farming industry like it seems? Or I am just totally missing the picture and really out of the loop on this. Educate me, please!
:D

http://www.daytondailynews.com/project/content/project/farm/1201overview.html

and this one Howard Dean and his plans:

http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/6516291.htm

Maybe I need to get and raise my own animals for food. ;)
Cheers,
Andy
 

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Originally posted by admin

--- Hell, I would pay more for food if I knew that it was grown on small farms with safe and careful guidelines and helping to patronize families instead of MEGAFARM conglomerates....
That's is what a lot of small specialty farmers are praying for. When enough consumers get fed up with tasteless chicken, pork and beef, and when they're openly concerned, as you are, as to just what are they eating along with there beef, the pendulum will swing back in favor of the small farm.

This is a hot subject for me because it is the MEGAFARM conglomerates that are putting the squeeze on the small farmer. But now some of their greedy ways are coming back to bite them right in their greedy asses with all the press they're receiving on Ecoli and the like.

Look at Monsanto patenting corn seed. Just so you'll have to buy it from them, and that's just the tip of the iceberg...It was hte Monsantos' of the world that got the farmer dependent on manufactured fertilizers for production that caused them to loose sight of good land stewardship......I'll stop for now because I could go on and on and on and on.:furious:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree with you about the small farmers getting burned at times by their own hands ---- the Monsanto's of the world pacify and promise to increase production and making yields greater with new batches of chemicals --- all in the name of "science and progress" --- While I am not against fertilization by non-organic means, I am against the greedy bastards who have tried to pull this "Jim Jones koolaid parties" with the consumers and retailers of the country. Poisoning the very food and the animals that we have to consume for nourishment --- all in the name of increased profit and "to meet this new demand" --- Haven't we always had to eat food? What is this new demand for eating? Maybe we are eating too much --- maybe we need to stop buying or at least force laws that will place GROWN IN MEGAFARMS labels on all of the food we purchase. Who knows... I ramble.

Andy
 

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Andy and Randy, I understand your concerns and you do have many valid points, but there are some miss-conceptions also that bigger is bad.
I will start out by saying that my father and I run a small farm that was started by my grandfather on land bought from his father, so I am fourth generation on this land with the fifth growing up before my eyes ( too fast!!). We run a small beef herd and to remain small we have to salvage tractors ( which is fun any way), cut wood(not so fun), and do whatever else we can to earn a meager living. We remain small because that is our choice. If we were to become truly "full time" farmers we would have to expand greatly to earn the same living, and this year would have been a loss because of border closures etc. That is one reason we remain small, to diversify.
That said, bigger is the reason that consumers are able to buy their food at the prices they are in the grocery store. If you compare the value of todays dollar to the 1940's, you pay less for all of your foodstuffs now than then, meanwhile all of the input costs have raised for the farmer.
Farmers also have to contend with the added rural population, less ground is available to grow more food than was ever grown in the history of north america, so more productive methods are needed.
Farmers have a greater stake in the environment than most other groups in north america, and most act accordingly, but as with other bussinesses/groups, it is the bad seeds that get the press. People in general, including farmers, are now more aware of the environmental impacts of the actions we take, and, for the most part, are taking steps to correct past damage and improve methods for the future fo rthe good of all.
The financial cost of protecting the environment "for the good of all" tends to fall to the landowner/ farmer. If it benifits all, "all" should face up to the financial reality!
Many of the so-called "factory farms" are in reallity nothing more than full time farm family farms. The fact is that it requires a large amount of product, be it beef, eggs, milk, vegitables, or whatever food, to make a living for a farm family. I do concede that the large corporations are pushing out the small family farm, but there are still a lot of us left. The family farm has changed greatly over the years but so has every thing else, would you expect farms to remain in the dark ages while all other sectors take advantage of what modern technolegy has to offer? Would you expect accountants to use a slate and abbicus? Of course not!! Farming has to be allowed the same opportunities.
For one example, hormone implanted beef. The growth hormones implanted into beef are naturally occuring bovine hormones in elevated levels, the primary being estrogen. There is more estrogen, naturally ocuuring, in cabbage than in implanted beef!!! I use this example because it is a product that I am familiar with. Another would be the GMO bug-less potatoes, a product driven off the market by public ignorance. Natural potatoe are alkiline. The potatoe bug has an alkiline digestive system, so is compatible to the potatoe plant as a food source. The GMO potatoes were changed so as to be slightly acidic. This interfered with the potatoe bugs digestion and made these plants unattractive to the potatoe bug. Simple and pesticide free, a good thing for the environment that was lost because the public wasn't educated about how it worked, or the possible positive implications for the environment!
Of course there are other examples good and bad about the dirrection of agriculture, but my fingers are tired.:D

I don't intend to offend any one, but I felt that the other side should have their input as well, and I hope that all take this in the spirit of info exchange and good will that is intended.

Thanks for the cahnce to rant. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Partsman, I appreciate you taking the time to share some true insight on this. I will never condemn someone for sharing their side of the story or offering some much needed insight into controversial issues such as this. Did you read the first article above on the first link in my original post on this thread? It is long and complicated but it seems to spell out a lot of the "unsanctioned and monster farming basics" --- like instead of 10,000 chickens per building, we now have 100,000 in the same sized building with extremely tight living quarters and poor quality of life and therefore more chance for disease, infection, & problems for consumers. What about the thread earlier in the week about genetically engineering crops and the studies on the health violations and effects of this progression in farming? I am not advocating any mandated change until we truly understand the issue --- but I think the picture is clear (or at least the picture that the media wants to show) is these greedy, back-room, off-the-road operators who are stuffed tons of animals into a room, feeding em poison and then selling them to Tyson farms to be sold at Wal-Mart the next day.... :D

Thanks for sharing --- I appreciate your insight.
Andy
 

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Parts Man gets a 10 for that post

As a small farmer, I agree with Parts Man 100%. There are a lot of aspects about BTO's "big time operators" that I don't like, but on the other hand, they help feed this country and many others as well. They take away property from small farmers by being able to offer more cash rent on property, which causes small farmers to shut down operations. But, they also offer better income for some of the older landowners that no longer are able to farm there own land. BTO's also spend a great deal of money locally to help the local economy. With most grain and meat prices so low, farmers must increase operation size to just make a comfortable living. And we won't even talk about milk prices. Milk prices are at record lows but still on the rise in stores.

I am a small farmer that only owns 26 acres of what was originally a 3000 acre ranch. This farm has been in my family since 1834. My parents own another 40 acres of this original farm. On the combined 66 or so acres, plus about 75 rented acres, I raise most all the meat I eat. And most everything I need to feed them. If I don't raise it myself, it is usually something that I killed by hunting or caught by fishing. I very seldom buy meat from the grocery. It is almost impossible to make a living as a small farmer, but it can be a good supplement to a day job. And it is in your blood if you farm or else you wouldn't do it. Some people think I am crazy for working a full time job and also farming. I do it because I love it, but on the other hand, farming is all some of the BTO's know. I would much rather there be a big farming operation in my neighborhood than some factor that pays low wages and is a dead end job for hundreds of people with no chance to better themselves. And then the factory ends up closing down and sending its work to some third world country for children to run.

In my opinion, alot of the bad press that these big farms get is from groups like PETA, which I personally can't stand. How do these groups know that the chickens even care if they can run around free range or not? And what about the pigs and the cattle? Are they any unhappier that they don't get to graze in large pastures? As long as they get feed and watered every day are they just as content? I can't answer that and nobody else can either because those animals can't speak. But we are in a society of overindulgence and we expect the grocery to have anything we want anytime we go. We are a spoiled society, that's another reason for these large farming operations. These big farms offer a service that we have come to expect instead of a service that we cherish.

This is just my opinion and is not intended to offend anyone. Like Parts Man, my fingers are getting tired. I feel like I have ranted enough.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As stated before with partsman, extremely enlightening and insightful commentary, Jay.... :D That is exactly what I wanted to hear --- the truth from those on the inside of the issues. I have learned alot about this issue and that was exactly why I started this thread --- to try to understand. Now I do understand more.

Thanks so much!
:D

Andy
 

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Why would'nt there be megafarms these days .The farmer's here in my area don't get anymore for there milk than I did when I stopped farming in 1971.It has to be mega Big to get the volume
needed to keep going. But the price in the supermarket keeps going up,wonder who's getting rich there,sure not the farmer.
RJJ
 

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Red-n-green had some excellent insight, and I agree whole-heartedly with him on groups like PETA. Animal rights groups( not to be misstaken for animal welfare) say that animals should be EQUAL to humans!! I beleive that animals should be treated humanely, with clean food and water, comfortable living conditions, and as stress-free as possible. This is also the most economical way to keep animals!! Any one with experience will tell you that a good farmer takes care of his animals, or they won't take care of him!! ( That's a line I use with my kids a lot , especially if they're whining about having to feed the animals before we eat).
Andy, I have to admit that I didn't read all of both articles:hide: , sorry. I am sure that there are many that don't follow the accepted guidelines/standards, and in my opinion they should be penalized, but like I said, big isn't always bad.
 
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