We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
You need to have spare money to run a hobby farm, whether it's vegetables, pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, etc. Often, such things are set up as tax dodges (agricultural land), never expected to make any meaningful profit themselves.
As another sort of hobby farmer in Northern California my impression is that the only small farming operations that seem to make any money are the ones growing cannabis.
If all these noveau small farmers would sit down and do a little research and some math they would realize that they cannot make a living farming according to their fantasy. But they might be able to figure out a decent compromise before they sink all their money, time and effort into it only to walk away completely demoralized.
So typical but also shows the lefty redefinition of a small farm as a ten acre organic toy with non farmers running it. (No AG school no FFA). My wealthy ct suburb plays with this to steer subsidies and tax bennies so they can pretend they live in a rural area. When I suggested they take a 2000 mile drive out I 70 or 80 to see what feeds the country looked at as some kind of hick. Real small medium and large farmers are sophisticated businessmen with huge capital needs and high risks. I take my hat off to them
I grew up on a "small farm" -- we farmed less than 200 acres -- and we never really made a living off it even back in the late '40s and early '50s. And most of the real farmers I know today would just as soon get rid of government subsidies and just farm "to the market". They don't really get that much for the subsidies, mostly govt interference.
The big subsidies go to corporations [and I don't mean a family corporation designed to keep the farm in the family after the death of an old farmer] and people like Ted Turner. And don't get me started on the Pigford mess.
She is just whining because she doesn't get a subsidy to pursue what amounts to a weird hobby. She apparently knows nothing really about GMOs or Roundup or much of anything else outside her "foodie" ideology.
Since it was a Salon piece, we shouldn't be surprised that she can't draw the obvious conclusion: she is not engaged in an activity that her fellow citizens value. She has an expensive hobby. Other people rather enjoy driving by and viewing it casually now and then, if they don't have to pay for the privilege.
She and her readers jump right to the usual solution: the government should make everyone place a proper value on this activity, and pay her a living wage.
I'm amazed to read casual statements about how the country needs young farmers. Obviously that's not true. Is our food production dropping? Are we suffering an outbreak of undernutrition? I don't think either the economy or our food production system is suffering from a lack of additional young hobby farmers. And I say that as a hobby farmer. I can also produce very nice afghans, but there's no market for those, either. I do it because I enjoy it. When I make money, I do it by performing work that people want badly enough to pay for it.
I knew a psychiatry resident who had decided having a portable, well-paying skill like covering a small hospital on two overnight 12-hour shifts a week was the only way he could make it as a gentleman farmer. Last I knew he wasn't rich but had the life he wanted.
Assistant Village Idiot
Pure baloney!!! Seriously????Is this someone trying to be a writer>?
You gotta love the libs here. It's going to take this couple ("partners" is it now?) the better part of a decade to realize they should be doing something else with their lives. Now that you're gonna have a kid you might want to try growing up or something along those lines. What does it take for a liberal to have a teachable moment anyway? Must liberals wait till death before they truly understand reality?
If you like your organic farm you can keep your organic farm.
Well, most corporate farms are family owned farms that incorporate in order to keep from losing the family farm to estate taxes. Most of their 'wealth' is the value of land. Farming on a real commercial scale, even on a family farm, is very expensive.
And we undoubtedly do have too many subsidies that reward 'farms' for production, etc that we don't really need. That in no way makes it a good idea to then subsidize small "hobby" farms even if it could be done after getting rid of subsidies to large farms and 'save' large amounts of money.