Some of the land he farms has been in his family for almost one hundred years. He does all the work himself at this point in his farming career, except for harvest time when two or three other folks have to help. Often those are even all family members, including his town dwelling wife at times. (I can pack a pretty tight module if I do say so myself.) But lately I have come to realize that many of those out there who are critics of farming think that the Farmer I Kiss should not be allowed to be called a Family Farmer. They think that he has too much land, too many tractors, a barn that is too big...they contend that he is "Big Ag" or "Corporate Farming."
|My View of the Perfect Family Farmer|
|Is this tractor too big for a Family Farmer?|
|Do you have to hand harvest to be a Family Farmer?|
It seems to me that a lot of this labeling or refusing to allow a label may be a reflection of the class warfare being waged in our country. There are those who want to put a limit on what is ok to have or have not. If Farmer One has too many acres, he is too big, he can't be considered a hard working Family Farmer. Is it only Farmer Two, who has a five acre garden he handpicks himself, who can be considered a hard working Family Farmer? Is it really too many acres, or is it that Farmer One apperas to be more successful than Farmer Two? I hope our country is not going toward a time when the American Dream of running a successful Family Business of any size will be looked upon as a bad thing.
I have decided to create the definition of a Family Farmer that will apply to this blog site for the rest of the blog's life: Family Farmer (noun) person or persons growing food, fiber and fuel who are actively engaged in the day to day operation and process of growing a crop regardless of the size of the operation or processes. The person or persons must care for and about the land they use to grow said food, fiber and fuel. They must go about the growing process in a responsible manner following strict guidelines set forth by the UDSA, FDA and EPA.
I Kiss a Family Farmer.
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