Farmers care, as you do, about the food they produce

  • Article by: SUZANNE VOLD
  • Updated: October 16, 2012 - 8:04 PM

They also care deeply about their animals and about the broader environmental impact of their work.

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armybratOct. 16, 12 9:10 PM

I can't imagine a farmer not caring... corporate farms are another story.

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pumiceOct. 17, 12 7:03 AM

Re: "I can't imagine a farmer not caring... corporate farms are another story." Great point, armybrat! A family farm is a small business--the owner/operator is an employee and considers the best interests of his/her worker(s) and products. A corporate farm, on the other hand, is a Big Business. The owner is so focused on the bottom line that profit is the only prism through which s/he views workers and animals' value. Health and safety regulations are simply a drag on the bottom line.

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waddlebackOct. 17, 1210:22 AM

armybrat and pumice are such shills for the Occupy "movement". When does a small farmer become a corporate farmer? When one more acre is bought? Or when one more employee is hired? When? Also, Regulations on health and safety minimize the costs of hiring and training people so it not only helps the employees, but also the so-called bottom line. Simplistic slogans make for cheap talk.

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steveroachOct. 17, 1210:46 AM

I am glad to hear that Mrs. Vold cares about the animals on her farm and the impact of her business but I would like question her statement about how antibiotics are used on dairy farms. She stated cattle are treated only with antibiotics when sick. I think she is forgetting dry cow treatments that are injected into the udders of practically all conventional cows when they are no longer being milked prior to calving. About half of dairies also use antibiotics in the milk of calves that are being raised to replace the milk cows. Also keep in mind dairies do not use antibiotics not because they are virtuous but because the residues of antibiotics are prohibited in milk. For other species - meat chickens, beef cattle, and pigs routine antibiotic use is allowed becuase they are not producing a product everyday. As to cow care being better than in our grandparents day to some extent this is right but the improvements in medicine are offset by a higher demand for productivity so that a cow instead of living 10 years and having 6 calves now lives 5 and is lucky to calve three times before either dying or being shipped off to the hamburger plant.

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jgmanciniOct. 17, 1211:07 AM

Most consumers aren't worried about family farms. We're worried about Monsanto and other agribusinesses that couldn't care less about the welfare of the people who buy their products or the animals that supply them. We'd be much better off if we only supported traditional family farms and starved out the big agribusiness beast.

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rsw71756Oct. 17, 12 1:21 PM

Being a farmer in Iowa, I can tell you that the state of Iowa has a law forbidding corporate ownership of Iowa farmland. And this is why all 26 Million acres of Iowa farmland is owned by family farmers. The myth of corporations owning large amounts of farmland in Iowa is just a myth.

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realcadairyOct. 17, 12 5:06 PM

98% of US farms are family owned. Here in CA, 99% of the dairy farms are family owned - the remaining 1% include university and prison facilities. I am proud to be a 5th generation family farmer.

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farmdaughterOct. 17, 12 5:34 PM

Approximately 95% of farms in the United States are family farms. Within that, many of them are incorporated to get liability protections offered with being a corporation (otherwise one accident could lose them the farm). The legal identity of a farm does not determine whether or not it is family owned and operated. Not to mention, just because individuals that own the farm are not related does not mean they are bad people or not taking care of their animals. Would we consider Apple or Microsoft bad simply because they are incorporated and owned by people that are not related? Of course not. Here is an excellent article for more: http://www.thefarmersdaughterusa.com/2012/09/family-farmer-who-decides.html

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elle2008Oct. 17, 12 8:04 PM

With almost 3,000 people dying each year from food poisoning, I think the farmers should direct some of their income to fund the FDA or tell their elected officials to. Inspectors, hired by farmers and food manufacturers, are biased and the fact that so many people are getting sick and dying is proof.

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SantaeroOct. 18, 12 7:46 AM

Thanks for the great article, Suzanne! Keep that farm doing all those good things!

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