Supporting Agriculture, Veterans, Slow Money
As I look at 53 years in life, in the US and in agriculture I’m listening to the Slow Money live stream. Here at SlowMoneyFarm we do things different in many ways. Many don’t like it. This morning I was told directly someone wanted us to cease to exist because of the slavery of animals. Others blame big agriculture, who often doesn’t even recognize what we do at all. As I pause to think of Troy and of veterans throughout the family history, it’s harnessed with agriculture. I think of Stephen who works hard to bring awareness of 22 lives per day lost to suicide of veterans. Anyone who doesn’t think that’s important would probably do well to stop reading this post now as it won’t get better for you.
There are many places online that you can support veteran owned businesses, farmer veterans and other ways to directly support those who supported our country and still support our community.
I am humbled over 100 happy birthday greetings on Facebook before 11 a.m. and from a wide range of family, friends and acquaintances. From rabbit friends, horse friends, dog friends, ag friends, former neighbors and co-workers and friends in various places I’ve lived, music friends even a hip hop artist. All are treasured far more than trinkets. Thank you for the greetings that continue to flow and I know I will miss some individually.
Earlier this year I was encouraged, again, to apply for a ‘faces of farming’ but quickly discounted. Was it something I said? Probably. How do you see modern agriculture. Some see large farms, large combines, multiple families running it – and it is certainly that. I see more. Agriculture is changing – it’s large farms to supply the volume needed by the American public who has expected, really, a surplus. It is also increasingly urban gardens, homesteading and other agriculture ventures which are not all to sell commercially. Does that make it less important, less agriculture?
We want to save effort then go to fitness centers, want time saving then spend the time not with family but doing something else. Some have produced incredible amounts of food on a small acreage. It’s not always more expensive and as more look at the economy of scale, it provides choices. There’s no need to hate evil Monsanto/Tyson/Smithfield/Conagra and others – put action and they don’t exist if you are truly surrounding yourself with other food choices and everyone gets what they want. Organic peppers with diced rabbit, dessert of pecan pie and ice cream or a snack of a handful of chips…might be normal fare for many. Not all. Some don’t like peppers – should I be offended? Of course not.
I dislike marketing, begging for sponsorships, pushing for sales, posting seemingly obsessively about rabbits, chickens, small farms etc – but have to do it because there is no marketing team to pass that to. I see less opposition with many larger farms than with extreme vegans who outright want to eliminate even us because “it doesn’t matter how the chicken is treated” – I’m sure California poultry farmers and Tyson’s will be happy to hear that it doesn’t matter. The push on the hog production industry will be happy to hear that it doesn’t matter because they’re all going to be killed anyway.
I do think it matters. I know that whatever our differences, large and small, organic and conventional, veteran and non veteran we all stand together to do the best we can by the animals in our care. It matters. If it doesn’t matter to consumers, it still matters to us!
Many conversations are ahead, and agriculture, like life, will continue to change and lead ways we probably don’t expect. If there are veteran businesses and farms near you, support them. Give them a chance to earn a living using their talents. There are some wonderful opportunities to support them.
Don’t overlook, also, agriculture of all size. Balancing farmer’s pay with feeding poor and all other people is a multifaceted issue and won’t happen overnight. All we can do is the best we can to solve the problem, and hope that there are people who continue to support us rather than wishing us to cease to be. I say it often but action is needed. “Life is very short. Be happy while you’re here.” Veteran friend Stephen Cochran has a life of music, very different from producing food. Common ground is much and I would argue that while food is important, so is music (go check out his website – new music coming and it’s pretty awesome!).
Life. It’d be pretty rough to just have one thing to eat and no other needs met. No one should have to choose between food and a place to live, but many do. Food, music, shelter, friends, veterans, freedom. All things that are valued, and life wouldn’t be the same without each of them.
Thank you for continued support. Thank you for reading, spreading the word, checking out links of things shared. Let’s continue to talk and find better ways to improve our communities, online and offline. Win-win situations.