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Thursday, November 08, 2007

I dream of mending fences

I don't mean to say figuratively, but actually fixing a broken down cattle fence. Why? you ask, because I spent most of the day yesterday doing just that. And it seems to have seeped into my nocturnal life.

Some of the fencing was very bad off. You couldn't tell from just looking at them, you had to get on the ground and actually inspect. The goats and all their rubbing had popped loose the bottoms of the fences. I spent the day repairing those and anything else wrong I could find. I also caught the neighbors cat trying to get at my bannies. So barn mending is in order today.

Karen, I know you asked about a photo of a fertile egg. My camera's batteries are dead, so I will try to get that picture soon. I have asked my husband to purchase me a battery recharger for my birthday. I'll probably just get socks again.

While reading a cattle ranchers forum (they ask certain High level people why NAIS is good, in an open forum} I discovered an article by accident. One of those follow the link games we sometimes play. It was published back in Sept. in I found it very interesting.

First off, I had no idea that there was a program that taught people to be farmers, that is except FFA. I also knew, and have known for years that there was decline of young wanting to be farmers. There isn't much incentive to be one anymore. This article makes me want to head out across this wheat field and hug the farmer, Man I respect you.

Sep 23, 2007 04:30 AM

Catherine Porter
Environment Reporter
When Kurtis Andrews walks into his family's barn, he can't just ask one of the employees where his dad is. He has to ask for "Mr. Andrews." That's because few of the market staff know Kurtis anymore. They think he's another customer. Andrews spent 20 years working on the farm. When he was seven, he bought a bicycle with the money he'd saved weeding the fields by hand for $1 an hour. He's climbed the trees, built a swimming raft for the irrigation pond, and rumbled across the fields on a tractor. But now, he's a stranger here."It feels odd," says Andrews, 34, examining a 20-year-old family portrait that hangs in the barn. In it, he, his two sisters and their folks pose in a raspberry field, each of them dressed in red-and-white checkered shirts and holding a basket of berries. It's full of joy and optimism – hardly the picture of farming today."I do feel nostalgia about the farm," he says. Andrews is no longer a country boy. He lives six hours away, in Ottawa, where he's in his second year of law school. And he has no plans to return to the fields. Neither do most of his peers. The statistics are distressingly clear – young people are leaving farming in droves. In Ontario, the number of farm operators aged 35 and under plunged by 35 per cent between 1996 and 2001. Since then, it's dropped another 21 per cent. Only 8.6 per cent of farmers are in that age group today. Entire article can be found here>>>

A few weeks back when I first starting talking about moving a house {something that fell through because of the house movers} I said there was something else. It does have to do with farming. But as it isn't all sorted out yet, so I don't want to tell everything. Don't want to jinx it, if you will.

How do we encourage people to become farmers? With most of our food being needlessly shipped from other countries, ranchers leaving the US to ranch in Mongolia because of profits, working yourself rugged for little pay, just isn't appealing to most people. We need to sit down and reexamine our priorities. We can't all grow our own food, but we all must eat. Something needs to change before there is a food monopoly that has nothing to do with NAIS or the terminator seed. How do we, as eaters, help encourage new farmers?

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