Monday, January 17, 2011

Well, Hello

I'm back. The stock show in Denver was pretty awesome. Sorry I didn't blog. Our hotel charged $10 a day for internet, so I decided I could live without it in pretty short order. I know I promised some pictures, but we couldn't find the charger for our camera and of course it died after one picture, so...

I was going to blab about something else, but I ran across this website on another farmer's blog and thought I'd rather talk about it:

This is a group of young people from California that are trying to raise awareness in our generation concerning food production in the United States. It's very refreshing for me to see people my age that understand where their food comes from and that it's not easy providing it. It's something I've struggled with for a long time. People genuinely do not care where their food comes from as long as it's readily available and cheap. And, of course, many people think that farmers are rich. Some of them are. Not as many as you'd think.

I guess what excites me most is knowing that I'm producing food for people that really do care. My beef and corn might not go to California, but it's the idea that makes me feel good. I know that you might be thinking "Ben, you're in Nebraska. People know where their food comes from." You'd be very surprised, actually. According to the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, the average consumer is three or more generations removed from the farm. Even in my part of Nebraska, there are kids that honestly have no idea what it takes to raise a bushel of corn or a 1,200 pound steer for market. The not knowing isn't what upsets me, it's the not caring.

If consumers want cheap food, they can get it. Food could be imported and sold cheaply, but at what cost? If you know your fruit or vegetables were produced in your home country, under pretty strict regulation, wouldn't it be worth the peace of mind to pay a little more for it? As an example, I would much rather pay more money for an American made guitar, pair of shoes, or appliance, because I know I'm supporting someone's family, and customer service will be readily available. Why would you want food, which is more necessary than any of the above to survive, to be any different?

I know all of you that read this already support farmers, or are a farmer, but on the off chance that someone is reading this for the first time, I ask you - please do your research. It's not easy and it's not cheap to provide food. Don't believe that everything you hear about farmers and food is true. Look into it yourself. You'll probably learn something.


  1. There's a great book by Barbara Kingsolver called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She and her family wanted to find out what it actually takes to feed your family within a 10 mile radius for one year. No restaurants. No grocery stores. Local only. They had a huge garden, of course--canned constantly. Raised their own chickens and "harvested" their own chickens, as well--something they'd never done. It certainly made them appreciate greatly what it means to take an animal's life for your table. They even made their own cheese.

    They didn't do anything else because there wasn't time for anything else. In short, if someone didn't make your food for you, THAT would be what you'd be doing all day long. Now, I would actually LOVE to be doing that all day long. That's why I live for the summer. Anyway, it's a great book and really makes you appreciate what it means to grow and eat food.

    And when they wanted an orange, too bad.

    I could talk about this for ages.

  2. Ben, let's read this book - and then we can all talk about it together for ages.
    I'm 100% intrigued.