Do we really need farmers and ranchers?

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While talking to a producer recently, we got way off-topic. It’s not hard to do when you like talking about farming.

Our conversation turned to why the general public doesn’t like farmers and ranchers. We couldn’t answer the question, but we sure had our theories.

All industries face some ridicule, but only agriculture has it coming from all fronts.

Agriculture must face accusations from climate change and environmental groups, those who claim meat is unhealthy and causes antibiotic resistance, the anti-GMO folks and my personal favorite, animal rights groups. It’s like farmers and ranchers can’t win for losing.

Folks who are anti-agriculture need to realize if they succeed in destroying agriculture, they also succeed in destroying humanity.

According to American University in Washington D.C., an estimated 10 million American children do not have enough food daily, and some 54 million people in the U.S. face hunger. If there were no more farmers or ranchers, those numbers would quadruple within months. Along with mass starvation, there would be increased violence between those who have food and those who do not. It would be chaos.

What livestock might be left, with no farmers or ranchers left to care for and protect it, would quickly be taken as food, with a great deal of it likely being wasted. With the livestock gone and there being no crop production, those who can hunt for and gather food will quickly erode those natural resources. It would be only a matter of time until most of the earth’s human and animal population is obliterated. So, will someone tell me again how much better off the world would be without farmers? Halloween is over, but the whole scenario sounds like a horror movie staring every movie bad guy, plus a whole lot of zombies. 

Those who survive might want to figure out how to raise a few animals for food. They might make use those animals can be used for transportation as well. They will need to figure out a way to keep the animals safe from predators or would-be bandits. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a shelter of some kind for the smaller animals and do everything possible to keep all animals healthy. They might also want to consider learning how to plant a few crops, crops that can be stored to feed themselves and those animals in the winter months. Some of the larger animals may even be able to help in the cultivating of those crops. It might not be a bad idea to figure out something that can be used to create clothing. It’s very important to remember crops and animals, just like people, need water, so people would need be very cautious about what happens near water sources; got to keep that water clean. Also, don’t put just anything on your plants to control insects or weeds; it might be dangerous for the people and the animals who consume it. 

Wait. That sounds a whole lot like farming to me. Funny how that works.

Farming and ranching might not be the most popular industry, but I don’t think it would take folks very long to realize it is the only industry needed for survival.

Julie Turner-Crawford is a native of Dallas County, Mo., where she grew up on her family’s farm. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Julie, call 1-866-532-1960 or by email at [email protected]

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