You hear a lot about “factory farming”. Anti-ag groups produce cartoons of a cow on a conveyor belt and smoke stacks coming out of the barn. A corporate CEO is at his desk puffing a fat cigar and ordering copious amounts of chemicals be poured on his crops. Meanwhile, the family farmer is sitting in the corner wearing torn and faded clothing as his starving wife and children huddle around him.
Just like any cartoon, this is fiction. The reason they produce cartoons and create online series with actors, is because they can’t find these circumstances in real life. The wonderful truth is that most farms are family owned and operated!
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that today 97% of U.S. farms are family owned. As they completed the latest Census of Agriculture, NASS Director Hubert Hamer said, “What we found is that family-owned businesses, while very diverse, are at the core of the U.S. agriculture industry.”
USDA defines a family farm as any farm where the majority of a business is owned by the operator and individuals related to the operator, including through blood, marriage or adoption. This is certainly the case in our situation! Tyler and I are proud to farm the land we own, as well as work hard for the landlords from whom we lease acreage. We are closely tied to the land and the community and do our best to treat the land, our resources and our neighbors respectfully and responsibly.
Have questions about modern agriculture? Ask your local, family farmer!
God Bless You & American Agriculture,
Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. – Romans 13:8-10