The Big Farmer

Several years ago, Ed De Boer wrote the following essay which, so far as I can remember, was never published.  We’ll fix all that right now by presenting it here on Ed’s blog! ~ Walter Stormont

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By Ed De Boer

Good morning, sir!  How are you?

“Well, things are tough…  you see, I’m farming.  A fellow used to make a good living on 300-400 acres, but those days are long gone.  Nowadays, you have to get big or get out.”

How many acres are you farming?

“We’re farming 6,000 acres.  Some of my neighbors are thinking of getting out, so before long, we may be farming 10,000 acres.  Maybe we’ll finally start making some money!  At least that’s what the government and the bankers tell me.   You know, there’s a lot of money in farming, but actually getting that money, that’s the problem.  The bankers, the fertilizer man, the pesticide people, the seed man, the water and fuel and power men… they all get theirs.  If the weather is against us, we’ll be hard-pressed to make a buck.”

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My dear farmer friend: You say it is tough to make ends meet on 6,000 acres, your neighbor is qutting with 4,000 acres and you are contemplating taking over his acreage, hoping to make it on 10,000 acres.

One sure thing — you’ll double your work.  What seems to make more sense to me is to cut your work in half and make it on 2,500 acres.  If you concentrate on that and increase your yield per acre by 10%, you’ll be making more money on 2,500 acres than on 10,000.  In farming, “bigger” and “better” don’t go together.  We have more big farms and less farmers; what we should have is more farmers and smaller farms.

In my lifetime I’ve seen many changes but very little improvement, certainly not in the soils.  Sure, we’ve got big tractors and big implements and can farm large acreage, but we’re using more chemicals and pesticides.  And the outlook is not encouraging.

The chickens are coming home to roost.  The big corporations are now trying to take total control of U.S. agriculture with their genetic engineering; and with the help of the law they’re suing the farmer for patent infringment… for using his own seed that was contaminated with GMO’s due to cross-pollination!

Genetic engineering in plants is going to fail just as surely as social engineering.  Just give it some time.  The longer it lasts, the greater the disaster.  To paraphrase the Bible: “If it is of man it comes to naught, but that which is of God endures forever.”

Claiming this to be “One Nation Under God” and then tinkering with His creation to “improve” on it is pure foolishness, the work of men who have no faith in God and no faith in the Uniteed States or creation.  We should look back to where we came from, where we are and where we’re headed.  We will come to the realization that there is no future in what we’re doing today.

Bigger farms, bigger tractors, bigger implements, bigger pesticides, bigger bank loans and bigger bills do not have a future.  Smaller farms, more farmers, better yields, no pesticides and no bank loans offer a brighter future.  A prosperous farmer creates a thriving and healthy community with healthier people and a positive economy that’s not running on perpetual debt with an ever-sagging dollar that now has the purchasing power of less than a 1940 nickel.

Somewhere down the line there will be a moment of truth where the devil will collect his due.

“You cannot establish security on borrowed money.” ~ Rev. William J. H. Boetcker (often — mistakenly — attributed to Abraham Lincoln… although I think it’s safe to say Lincoln would have agreed with it.  ~W.S.)


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