Saturday, June 11, 2011

Taking Sides

I love agriculture and I love all aspects of it that I am familiar with.  I love the cows, driving tractors, picking rocks in fields, and the people in the industry.  Sometimes though, I feel like I am being asked to take sides on what is often a controversial, and often discussed, topic in agriculture.

Being from an organic dairy farm has put me in a somewhat unique position, especially when it comes to applying for jobs in the agricultural industry where I might be representing conventional farmers.  It seems that there is often a great divide between organic and conventional farming, one that I don't think necessarily has to be there. I know there are plenty of people who will disagree with me and say that one system is inherently better than the other. 

My family's dairy farm became organic about 9 or 10 years ago.  We always pastured our cows, but have even more pasture since we became certified organic.  Before we became organic, my dad started getting really sick and none of the doctors had an answer until one told him that it was a chemical sensitivity so he had to stop using chemicals on the farm.  When that happened, he looked into becoming certified organic, since we couldn't use chemicals anyways, and began the process.  Organic is a necessity for my dad to keep farming, but it's not for everyone.

We have lots of neighbors who are conventional farmers and I have never heard my dad saying anything to indicate that they should switch to organic.  He will certainly talk to them about it if they ask, but I don't believe it is something that should have to be forced upon all farmers.  Our neighbors primarily own small farms, like us, and care for the land and their cows like we do.  They simply choose to do so in different ways.  

4 comments:

  1. Great blog Anna! Promoting Agriculture without taking sides is what we are trying to do at Texas Crossroads Gathering. http://www.txcg.org Keep up the great work!

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  2. I don't think one is better then the other, I think you should pick the best of all practices in each form of agriculture, and apply it where it is needed in your business.

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  3. Great blog! I grew up eating organic and now am raising conventional crops and beef. There are consumers for both and we need farmers that do both. Awesome insight.

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  4. Thanks for the comments guys! I completely agree and glad to see others feel the same way.

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