It seems like lately I have been coming across a lot of quotes that have really made me think about agriculture in America these days. The latest quote that got me thinking was from an odd source, “AAA Living Magazine”. In an article about the Living History Farms here in Iowa (great place) the author wrote, “Now in the United States, only 2 percent of people work in an industry related to agriculture. Even in heavily agricultural Iowa, only 9 percent of people work in that industry.”
That really got me thinking … especially since I had recently come across this quote from Thomas Jefferson, “I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural.” When you put two and two together you realize that since only 2 percent of our nation is involved in agricultural pursuits our government is not virtuous. Wow, did I just say that out loud!
In my recent post, “Hog Farmers Feeling the Pinch” there was some good discussion in the comments about going back to more family farms instead of our reliance on the industrial farm model. If you take a look at the comments you will see that the feeling was that it could be done, but that we just had to want to do it.
Wanting to … that has been something that has been coming up a lot in my ministry work with students. And, the conclusion that I have come to and that we have been discussing a lot is that we just need to begin the change. Instead of waiting for hundreds or thousands to join together in the change we just need to make the change now and then help encourage others to come along with us … it’s applicable in politics, it’s applicable in faith, and I believe it is applicable in agriculture.
So, buck the trend and make your small family farm thrive. It will be difficult one all fronts, but it will help lead the change so that we can start inching up that pitiful 2 percent figure!