Early New Year’s resolution: Why you should visit a farm this year

Scenic country farm

We hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying the rewards of all that holiday preparation and cooking. So as you’re looking to catch your breath and start focusing on the New Year, we thought we’d get in with an early suggestion for a New Year’s resolution. This year, visit a farm and learn a little more about where food came from (a suggestion our Southern Hemisphere members will probably be able to act on sooner than the rest of us).

We developed this thought when reading an article from one of our favorite bloggers, Forrest Pritchard, a seventh generation farmer. In a recent article in HuffPost, How TV Has Made Us Stupid About Farming he talks about TV commercials that imply animals have super powers or that farmers can barely talk coherently, “You’ve seen the ads. Parachuting cows imploring us to eat chicken sandwiches. Farmers who can’t spell. Kids who garden with dinosaurs and chickens without bones. We’re not talking about restaurant spokesclowns any more, or your grandma’s ‘Where’s the beef?!’ ads. Over the decades, commercials seem to have transitioned from pure fantasy to pseudo-reality, a pop culture kaleidoscope through which the act of farming becomes obfuscated and whisked into the realm of afterthought.”

According to the latest statistics from the World Bank, in the United States and United Kingdom less than one percent of the country is currently employed in farming;  in Australia it’s 3 % and 7%  in New Zealand (they didn’t have numbers for Canada). These numbers imply that not many of us actually have many opportunities to see a farmer at work. So here’s a suggestion for the New Year – show a little respect for those who produce the food we’ve eaten, and gain a little more understanding of how that food is produced. Visit a farm – maybe the one supplying your favorite food at the Farmer’s Market, or a cheese producer, or even a winery.  It just might make the food taste better…

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  • rivergait  on  December 26, 2013

    The farmers around here are named Bank of America and AMD. I have no idea if they are coherent and intelligent, even though Mitt Romney assures me that "…corporations are people".

  • nicolepellegrini  on  December 27, 2013

    My mother has been raising pigs and poultry for the past 3-4 years, so I'm quite well versed in visiting farms (in fact I spent Christmas morning defrosting chicken waters and feeding the turkeys before we ate our own meal.) It certainly has given me a tremendous amount more respect for farming and how difficult it is for an independent farmer, interested in raising animals ethically and humanely, to basically not bankrupt themselves in the process. Sadly our economy just doesn't seem designed to support those farmers not just out for the bottom dollar – and until consumers are willing to pay considerably more for meat that doesn't come from a factory farm, I don't know if things will ever change.

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