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I was going through all the posts and found one that really got me thinking about, well......just got me thinking.

I dont live on a farm, I want to, but for now, it cant happen. I do have a MH 22 though, that I have lovingly put back together to work that farm that I dream about some day. I read in our forum about guys buying farms that use to be 1000+ acres that are now cut up into sub-divisions and mini-farms. I have also read about guys that want to go back to the way it was when their fathers or grandfathers worked a large farm.

It seems to me that people want a simpler life. The way that it use to be. When the farms and families were the norm, not subdivisions and housing projects.

When I was born there werent microwave ovens, computers, and cell phones. Now I dont know how I would get along without any of these things. All I know is that simpler is better, at least I think so. The question I have for you is this.....how do you feel about seeing farms being cutup and sold for non ag usages? What about your grandkids, will there be a farm left for them to work?

I guess we know where all the farms went though. I was just thinking....

Steve
 

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Steve
It can't be good! As America grows. we will obviously need more food not less! Will we import most of food in the future? Look what happened to the USSR when they had no way of feeding themselves.

At some point, the gov't will need to step in to put a stop to the greed that will bring this country to it's knees.
 

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a day ahead of y'all
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We give billions of dollars in aid to foreign countries..... Some to try to help feet, cloth and house the people of that country. Electricity, fresh, clean water, warm/cool housing. And..some to just "buy" the leaders. Even the money that is given for the people usually ends up in the leaders pockets. The people still live worse than our pets.

If our government would stop giving the $ and instead send food products, fully marked "Gift of the American People" to the countries, and had some form of distribution monitoring, a lot more "help" would actually reach the people. America would be recognized as the compassionate country it is, not just "aiding the corruption" of foreign leaders.

The American farmer would also win. The government would buy their foods at a good price and guarantee volumes and prices ahead of time. A good amount of the goods purchased would have to come from certified "small" or "medium" farms, not just the conglomerates. Low interest loans could be granted for purchase of seed, equipment, etc. to be used in the aid program. (right now the government pays some farmers to NOT grow certain crops.)

I think this program could help bring back farming in America in give some of us an opportunity to get back to the "simple life".
 

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You are absolutely right Greg, it would give it to the big corp. farmers and still not help the little guy... Our banks and land barons put the little farmer out of bus.... just as the super walmarts are doing to the little retailer also... If there is a way to stop greed and still give us alll freedom then by all means show me the way...

Problem w/ your idea for a large food basket is the same one faced by the un in iraqi food for oil..... it wont hold water for the poor in any country as those who are in power will decide who gets what.... no easy solution for the U.S. as we wiil be the bad guys for our way of life and I dont really care about giving any of my freedoms for the hate that returns when we try to help the poor and the usless of the world..... it really is a world problem and until that gets everyones attention I say there is no more money nor free gifts period unless a natural disaster has taken place and we dispense directly to the needy and in product and labor only.....

Greg you surely have now heard of chirochs international tax plan... You already know where I stand on taxes let alone one from that countries idea...
 

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I grew up in Iowaand on a farm and the small farmers are out getting a bruising, The cost of everything has gone up thru the ceiling. The biggest problems go all the way back to the Reagon adminstration when government assistance was cut to the bone without looking at the human cost, I know as farming was not in the cards as I couldn't even get a job if my life depended on it and ended up going into the Air Force. The human cost was the farm basically taken from the small farmer and the bigger farm Ag companies took over most of the land (Archer-Daniels Midland comes to mind) Today in Iowa the only small farming operations are the speciality farmer (organic feed and animals)

The small operators are still there but just not in scale of what it used to be, You guys wonder why the small farmer is not around like it used to be well there is not the money everyone expects after you look in the grocery store, Well the saying is lots of middle men in the mix just has killed the golden goose.
 

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Ernie,

As I said, "A good amount of the goods purchased would have to come from certified "small" or "medium" farms, not just the conglomerates. Low interest loans could be granted for purchase of seed, equipment, etc. to be used in the aid program." This would guarantee, as much as possible, the actual small to medium farmer get part of the market. It has worked with small, minority and woman owned businesses in the electronics industry, where I worked for 17 years. Since foreign aid is a "giveaway" program, the switch over from $ to products could be in stages.

Also, as I mentioned, a US, or US approved method of monitoring distribution could be done with the cost also included in the aid amount.

Even if some of the goods got into the foreign leader's hands, they would have to spend time and trouble trying to sell it on the black market, and only receive their worthless currency!

Notices in the language of the country, as well as English/French/German/Spanish could be put outside/inside the products stating this is free aid from the American people and not for sale... At least let them know the intention.

The idea may not be the perfect solution, but it's a start that I would like to see implemented. I think we owe it to our current and future small and medium farmers....maybe some of us!:thumbsup:
 

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Right on Michael, I too spent years in a small farming community and the problems were way earlier when the feds instituted the no grow co-oping.. it raised the prices and the farmers made less because less land planted for the subsidy moneys which never made up for the losses that occured for unused land and less marketable product.. The real problem, you hit on the head Michael, was that there are way to many hands involved and to much gov. restrictions on the small farmer that there is no end of the selling off the farms to pay off the monies owd to the banks as they will no longer tolerate the occasional past dues during the off times of farming...

As I can see it the farmers real problem lies not in the lack of gov subsities but the lack of a real market share when the huge conglomerate farms are farming millions of acres of the same product for less than the small farmer can produce for....

My reccomedation for those who have the will power is to get into the niche" farming.such as including what you have noted and also organic veggies, fruit etc.. as this market is growing due to the genetic altering that is being used to feed the world... there could be some serious bounties for those that also have the cash in hand to take it in a different direction....
I also feel for those that have lost there farms and I also feel for those that have been laid off, but life goes on and we all need to side step or go back to keep from being eaten up by those who already made the shift and are moving on... this a capitalistic run economy and those that take a different road now and then make the capital... nothing stays the same and this system has been evolving and will gon evolving into what everybody in the world wants...The freedom to make choices that take you out of mediocrity and advance in this demanding society or you can sit back and dwell on what the past had wrought.....mediocrity..

Thanks for allowing my .02 worth
 

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Steve,

I think what you really mean is: Where have all the small farms gone? There is still plenty of farming going on here in Georgia. It all most breaks my heart to go up around Atlanta and see all the “development”. Yes, it is going on everywhere. As housing developments get larger there are more and more people, like you, asking where have the farms gone. All the while, they are standing on ground that, not so long ago, was a small farm.

As we become a more and more populated country (and world), the small farm, sad as I am to say, has had to go. Food production is having to increase and this increase is being accomplished, in a large part, by mechanization of our farms. With increased machination, farm size has to increase. $150,000 tractors and $250,000 combines are not feasible on small acreage farms. It is with machination that a few people on large farms have been able to produce large volumes of produce without having to have a large increase in the price they are paid for that produce. As this mass production has increased, the ratio of cost to produce verses the sell price of farm produce has become smaller and smaller, causing few people willing to take the risk for such small gains, so smaller farms are sold and either incorporated into a larger farms or the land is “developed.”

Won’t be long before we will be singing (to paraphrase the old song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”) “Where have all the farms gone? Gone to large co ops every one.
 

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The time is here already the farmers are going to have to adapt and branch out into other areas such as "agritainment" to survive. With $2 corn and $5 soybeans (thank you Brazil!); it is not worth the effort a farmer makes to even plant the ground. 90 cent beef is almost not worth fooling with either.

Until our country is forced to become energy self reliant, the future is not so bright in the grain area. Government backing and supporting infrustructor for a "biodiesel/ethanol economy" would be a huge step to getting farmers profitable again. Other areas farmers need to start taking advantage of are forrestry and working with the local extension agents to sign hunt clubs up to lease the land. $10 to $25 per acre hunting leases can be a big cash generator for the larger land owners.

Reforming liability laws, and passing STRONG nation wide "right to farm" laws to get urban sprawl and the whinners off farmer's backs. It amazes me that people can move next to a farm and then whine about the smells and noise...........and judges support them!!!!!!!!

Exempting farmers from property taxes will go a long ways to helping them out as farmers who have been encroached upon by suburban development cannot keep pace with the dizzying increases in there land values and never ending property tax increases.

By FAR the most important thing that can be done would be the TOTAL elimination of inheritance and gift taxes for farm owners and their families. Federal and state governments have been stealing farm land this way, holding a gun to farmer's heads for MANY years. It also fuels the recent flood of suburban development.

I would also like to see the strengthening of trespassing laws and the addition of VERY severe penalties for trespassers as they cause huge amounts of damage and losses for farmers and cause the devotion of countless manhours of time farmers spend protecting their land.

I could go on adnausium. Farmers have a real tough life and if something is not done soon; as has already been mentioned, our country will not only be energy dependent but food dependent as well.

Anyhow, I had my rant and now I will go sit down and shut up. ;) :D
 

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The reason I said anything on this subject is: I am a farm kid. I am now in my late forties and I saw there was no way I could make a living farming even if I had a degree from Iowa State in AG Business (which I knew was not going to work in getting me a job). So I got a degree in teaching (another mistake, but I have that to fall back on) I ended up a aircraft mechanic (with a background in vehicle mechanics) Also I have 22 years in the Air Force (11 Active and 11 in the REserve)

Where I live today is a small rural county in Western Washington and we recently had a family transplant from California, One of the first things I did was explain the state of Washingtons right to farm law. One of the things is this law is a pioneering law and I explained it to them (also the racetrack that we hear on saturday evenings in the summer). That since these things were here first that they have special rights and that the smells and noise from the farming operations that surround us are protected and that we have to put up with it. Well this family has taken to the life in a rural community like ducks to water, The kids have horses (the girls) and the boy is at my place a lot helping out in my projects.

BTW I think this thread should be move for better visiblity.
 

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Originally posted by Chief
The time is here already the farmers are going to have to adapt and branch out into other areas such as "agritainment" to survive. With $2 corn and $5 soybeans (thank you Brazil!); it is not worth the effort a farmer makes to even plant the ground. 90 cent beef is almost not worth fooling with either.
A good reason for farmers to stop mono-cropping...It doesn't work...The need is to go back to localized supply of veggies, chickens, hogs and cattle. That will put the farmers back into profitability.

Originally posted by Chief

I could go on adnausium. Farmers have a real tough life and if something is not done soon; as has already been mentioned, our country will not only be energy dependent but food dependent as well.
The need is to get the people fed up enough with fast food and low quality products on the grocer shelves and start demanding farm fresh food
 

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In the Central Texas Area there is a renaissance of buying produce from the family farmer. There is a group of grocery stores (and some are large chains) that have made a commitment to the family farmer. Willie Nelson did use his influence and to lobby these groceries into exempting slot fees for local small coops of family farmers. It has become a win-win situation for the farmer, the grocery, and the consumer. I know that it is a small step but it is in the right direction and I hope the rest of the country is following suit.

Texas Agriculture Product Commission known as TAP published a picture of a loaf of bread. It showed the 8 ingredients to make that loaf and a farmer made 9 cents for producing those ingredients. Then it showed 87 added ingredients by federal, state, and local governments called taxes and they made 67 cents for producing those ingredients on that same loaf of bread. Think about that the next time you fix yourself a sandwich!
 

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The need is to get the people fed up enough with fast food and low quality products on the grocer shelves and start demanding farm fresh food [/B]



Oh I hear ya. Problem is that junk is addecting. Bet we find out in future years that there is something they put in that junk to make us all want it.:D

Took me about 2 months to stop craving the garbage, and now, I have no deiser to have it at all. Aug 18th 2004 is the last time my then fat ass walked into a Mickey D's.:D
 

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The biggest problem is shrinking margins. Small farms have to grow or sell. Most farms are still a traditional family farm, just on a much larger scale. In my area, the price of milk quota is such that many older farmers (and not so old) sell their quota, invets the $$ and live from the investment income. The larger farms buy up the quota and get larger still. Even so, all of these larger farms in my area are still a single family operation.
This is not in agriculture only, how many 5 and dime operations do you have in your town/ city, corner stores, hardware stores, etc, etc that are NOT part of a national chain??
My guess,, very few!!!
 

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Then diversity must be the answer....So many farmers are into monoculture...they have one product to sell be it milk, beef, corn, soybeans, etc.....they are at the mercy of the commodities market as to how much they're going to make this year...

They owe their souls to the company store. Some of these guys are so leveraged with equipment purchases they can't afford to branch out into something else to help build their income base...

One bad year and "poof" they're gone!
 

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Over the last seven years I have aquired almost two hundred acres of land. I am slowing putting pieces back into very small scale agricultural production. 2004 was the first year that I am able to show enough ag. activity to have my land rezoned agricultural instead of rural residential on one piece, of seventy-six acres. The land is bordered on all four sides by an established agrcultural district, for witch the town gets federal money to use to offset the lower properety and school tax rate. The thing I found out that sticks in my craw is that four or five large family run farming operations in the town have undue influance on who gets to join the club. My wife did the leg work to get our land rezoned, because I was beating my head up against a stone wall. After reading the legislation that established the Ag. district we discovered that the "Town" is to encougage agricultural activity and ficilitate start-up ventures , but they were doing anything but where I was concerned. The whole thing ended when my wife contacted our senator from New York, after applying to the zoning board, taking our case to the town board, confronting the town supervisor, and trying to work with the county farm board. It seems it is like a pie,and the more people that get a slice the others slice gets a bit smaller. As a result of all this the county has just sent out questionaires that ask about farming related activities on all lands that fall within the established boarders of the districts. Now that I am officialy on the team it seems that everyone wants to see us succeed . The roadblocks appear to have come down.
 

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Here in ND we're still traditional family farms. We have a "No Corporate farms" law, but they're trying to get around that now, and since most products are sold via a corporate contract, there's probably not much difference. But where farms used to be a section or less, they're now at least 4 or 5 sections. Schools have to combine, then combine again to survive because theres so few people left. Many of the local farmers are getting up in age. If they don't have any kids or son in laws to take over, they sell out to the neighbors, creating even larger farms and fewer familys. Most communitys have a volunteer fire department/ambulance emt's. It's getting harder to get the volunteers, and now they want to up the emt's requirements from 100 to 300 hours of training, which ultimately is going to result in NO ambulance service. There's hardly any small town business left, we banded together and built a community owned cafe. The Catholic church is closing soon. The Methodist's have about 20 members. House values are zero. Of course it doesn't help that there's the misconception that it get cold here.
 

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Food aid

to answer the question on food aid, it does work. Canada has a program called the world food Program, under which food is distributed to third world families with Canadian Flagged labels on it and a large notice saying not for sale.

Gives us lots of good PR around the world.

A company I used to work for (second largest in the country) used to get contracts to produce canned herring in Tomato sauce whenever the herring ran too large to make sardines out of them. Kept the herring fishermen going and kept the plants busy.

It was win,win,win, all around. A heck of a lot better than the typical help to large companies since most of the money made its way back to the little guys.
 

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Originally posted by Chief
Other areas farmers need to start taking advantage of are forrestry and working with the local extension agents to sign hunt clubs up to lease the land. $10 to $25 per acre hunting leases can be a big cash generator for the larger land owners.
Here in Jersey, some clubs are paying as much as $40 acre.

Just think, when the farms are gone, we can all look forward to eating synthetic food. In my book, if it's man made, it's NFG. Saccharin turned out to bad for you and before you know it, Nutra-Sweet will be put on the list too. Heck, what is that crap they put in Fat Free Chips, Olleson? [sp] It's not good for you either, but people eat it cause it says Fat Free. They won't die of obesity, but they might die of other problems.

Organic farmers are now having problems due to genetically altered corn. Seems when the genetically altered corn cross pollenates with with the with the organic stuff, the seed from that plant is no longer considered organic. So the organic farmer needs to be careful where he plants his crop.
 
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