Sorry about my muddy boots - a word from your local farmer
July 4th, 2012
03:15 PM ET
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Yesterday, we posted a plea to get consumers and farmers talking to each other, and by gosh, they did. This comment by a farmer named M.A. really stood out to us, so we're sharing.

Who needs farmers? All we are is a bunch of dead-beat, lazy, filthy loons. Some of us sporting big goofy hats that work all of our dreaded lives sacrificing time with those we love only to be condemned.

The weeds are getting bigger as are some folks pocket books. Bugs are getting stronger too. Vegetables aren't as nutritious as they once were and the meat does not even taste the same. Not to mention the salt and sugar laden foods we're all being presented with. We need more hormones, antibiotics and chemicals! Just to "keep up."

It should come as no surprise that fewer and fewer people want to participate in the business. I know why. It's a dirty, thankless job that's seemingly unimportant and particularly unappealing. Then the wind blows, it hails, floods, freezes or crops get burned up in the scorching heat. And then there's the insurance issues, regulators, banksters and everything else.

It's legalized gambling that's what it is! $$$

Darn straight, my boots are muddy. I apologize for getting your floor a little messed up. I did my best to tidy them up a bit prior to my entry into your establishment to get this donut and caffeine. This go I failed to bring along the spare clean pair and the sign says "no shoes no service."

While I'm at it here, my apologies for going a little slow the other day along the road holding ya up. And also for shaking my head after I had to swerve suddenly to avoid accidentally sending a piece of my machinery through the windshield of your speedster which could have potentially proved fatal. Don't be running those stop signs! Just a suggestion. Being a tractor jockey is tricky sometimes....do NOT pass on the right!!!

Not all agriculture folks are bad boys and girls. Most the time we attempt to do the right things despite the "challenges" and challenge of not being understood. I'm sure that you can appreciate this.

Ignorance is a forgivable offense. Knowing better and not doing so is quite another issue. At this juncture of this life, I'm understanding that there's a lot to be said for less being more. It's hard to convince money addicts this, of course. It's a tough thing to negotiating change that's for sure. On occasion there is stubbornness in this regard.

Adjustments can be made at any juncture if we so choose.

Plenty of shade for Sunshine. "Shine" for short. She's the mare we sprinkle the water a little closer with the irrigation pivot to keep her trees watered and the ground just a little cooler this time of year.

All we have to do is love the crop and with a few hurdles, cartwheels and bumps along the way most the time the love comes back. At least enough to keep us moving forward. What more could we ask for or expect. It's important for all of us to consider that we reap what we sow.

Hey, I better get to feeding a couple of my supervisors before bed and splash in some fresh water for them. Thanks for listening.

Read - No bull – start a conversation with a farmer



soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. GulpOff

    Arm : So, what do YOU know, smartass?

    July 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Armer

      I know that the majority of the people in this country thinks milk come from the supermarket. Our Demand for corn has gone up 5 Billion bushels in 8 years. Not only from ethanol (renewable energy..., switchgrass and wind are NOT scaleable) but from the rest of the world now demanding better diets (protein based)

      We have the best farmland in the world, but no farmer could satisfy current demand without tech provided by the MON on the world

      July 4, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  2. Charles

    Only a farmer would understand the driving comments. Farm equipment runs 15 to 25 M.P.H. Dealing with someone passing on the ryte at 65 is unnerving to say the least.
    We are not paid to not farm anymore.That was back when polititions were willing to buy our vote. Also back then we could produce way more food than the world could buy.That's not the case anymore.More mouths to feed.
    Everyone likes the small family farmer as is obvious by the comments. Problem is they (we) can't make a living on the "small family farm." anymore. That's just a fact of life.Same goes for family owned grocery stores & so many other family businesses we older folks grew up with..
    As far as the slander about autosteer on our equipment mentioned earlier , it saves money,,,plain & simple.
    Thank you for your time! Kansas Farmer

    July 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  3. Laura

    I love the original post – perfectly dripping with satire yet so very true. Muddy boots are welcome my way anytime.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  4. GAC

    Just had some pork grilled on a BBQ by the man who raised it. All natural. This guy has already had to start feeding hay.....when that normally happens in October. This means if we have another bad summer of heat next year, the prices for animal protein will go through the roof.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  5. JKC

    Where do the comments come from? I own cattle, grange cattle and so do my neighbors. Get in a car and drive around rural sometime. You will see there are millions of small farmers providing safe beef to men, women and children not only in the U.S but international as well. Yes there are subsidies, so. I actually like having my tax dollars spent on the food supply vs something insignificant to the majority of the people. I do not know anyone who uses hormones to enhance beef production. A four hundred pound calf grows to 1000 pounds quite nicely in 9-12 months on nothing but mama's milk and fresh grass. Why bother improving perfection: so America sit back and enjoy.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  6. Farmers Son

    Heard something in early 80's when I was a teen and would still seem to apply today: "Got a complaint about a farmer? Don't talk with your mouth full."

    July 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  7. shannon

    Wow. There are a lot of idiots commenting here. Please, please, please – if you've never worked a day in the heat, don't comment. If you've never raised an animal from birth to slaughter – shut up. Seriously? This is a simple article, with simple wisdom. Some of you need to step off your self-righteous soap boxes and listen for once.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • cp

      you shut up

      July 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  8. Ken

    If factory farms and slaughter houses had glass walls we would all become vegetarians.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Julie

      ^^^^^^^^ TRUTH ^^^^^^^^^^^^

      July 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • WDinDallas

      What, don't you hunt and slaughter your own meat? Guess not.

      July 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  9. Was a farmer once

    This has to be one of the most un-intelligent pieces I have ever seen. Our society is so messed up. We can't even breastfeed our children anymore without messing it up. What is going on? Are we really just going to erode all of the precious skills we have taught ourselves over generations? I miss America being a country where the farmer was an important person in the community. Now the important people are the accountants, investment guys, bankers... you know, Bernie Madoff and his friends? I think as a society we have to take a look at where we are head. Not good... not good at all.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Family Farmer

      Love the title and then the complaint. Was a farmer once... So what are you now? Official CNN chat board troll?

      July 4, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • shannon

      You're an unintelligent idiot. This is a truthful piece, with simple wisdom. Get a clue.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • MudMan

      Yes, you are correct – just ignore the driveler Shannon.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  10. GulpOff

    Mon...you think i didn't know that?
    I wish more people would know about how Monsanto robbed the farmers! Thanx for picking up!

    July 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  11. Cynthia

    First, I think the small, independent farmer is doing a thankless job, for the most part. However, this article read like it was written by a PR firm trying to sound 'real'. Yes, many farmers are just another victim of hard times, but many also are receiving some of the best funded 'socialist' programs from the past decades .Paid not to grow....whatever. 'He' wrote: "Ignorance is a forgivable offense. Knowing better and not doing so is quite another issue". Yet these are the same people who make such hateful and self-inflicted ignorant comments about the socialist programs such as healthcare for the most vulnerable, preventative care for women.... I support our true local farmers, small farmers who choose to stay small to keep products healthier, etc. So many short-sighted, hypocrites.......

    July 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • KD

      Paid not to grow? What crop is that? There was a program like that in the 1980s, nothing recent that I know of.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  12. Honest Citizen

    I pay every penny farmers demand for their labors and they live better than most people I see flaunting their expensive toys then demanding we pay them subsidies on top of it all. They poison the ground waters with their pesticides and fertilizers then tell me not to complain with my mouth full. Well I am complaining with my wife and daughter having cancer from it all and they are riding their new Harley Davidsons to the banks. Living in mansions compared to most writing off the mowing of their yards and the gas in their vehicles. When friends catch them putting died gas in their cars, they reply "perks" or just shrug it off. Their kids goin to college paid by the state or with subsidy money while the rest of us take out loans for our kids to go to junior college. Worse than crooks as a crook uses a gun, farmers use a grocery bill.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Honest Citizen

      I need to add that my father in law was a farmer so don't think I don't know what happens on the farms with the books. And don't think I don't know about how little work actually happens on the farm any more. Heck you guys don't even steer your tractors any more. It's all done by computers. The farmer only needs to bring enough reading materials to get him through the day. With more and more farms leasing equipment, they don't even have to worry about maintenance.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
      • KD

        I'm sorry about what you have seen, but on my farm, my husband gets up at 6 p.m. and doesn't get home until 9 p.m., unless he quits early to go to one of our kids' baseball games, or on Sunday mornings for church. This schedule is pretty normal from April until November as we move from planting to irrigatin to harvest. We have taken off one weekend this growing season, otherwise every single day has been a working day. Just because we don't have to steer a tractor doesn't mean it's not work; there are all kinds of monitors to watch and its' not like nothing breaks down. You can't just sit back and relax. You still have to get out and fix, even if it's newer equipment. We NEVER put dyed fuel in anything but farm equipment. We don't lease and we do all kinds of maintenance. By the way, he works probably 8 until 6 during the other months of the year. Sorry, not gonna feel guilty about taking a vacation once a year with those hours. You would look at me and think I am a large farmer, but my husband and I come from smaller farms that had to get either get larger to make ends meet or get out altogether. So don't label all larger farmers negatively because of their size or something that you've seen. I still have the heart of a small farmer, but we just farm at a bigger scale. We take a lot of pride in doing everything the right way and teaching our kids the same. We live where we farm and our kids might too, so there is no incentive for us to pollute our own backyards. You really don't have any right to be so hateful and label all farmers as awful people. By the way, all my neighbors who farm work just as hard.

        July 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
        • KD

          I meant 6 a.m. of course.

          July 4, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • kb2vzj

      You are confusing the Large farm for the small farmer

      July 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Common Man

      Unless the US government agencies get involved and say that pesticides cannot be used for farming, be thankful that you will still be able to get your nice vegetables and colorful fruits, year round, without bugs or diseases. I am sorry for your Wife and Daughter have cancer, but please do not say that the farmers did this. No person on earth knows what causes cancer. At this point it is mere guesses. I am a proud user of complete organic foods in my home. But you need to know that that guy that tills the field that helped put food on your table is not always getting by, sometimes they are just breaking even. Also about those tractors with GPS. How is your smart phone or car with GPS? Does make it a little easier that having GPS tell you where and when to turn and not having a map to read? Don't you enjoy technologies that make your job and life easier?

      July 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  13. kb2vzj

    bugsy buck video is kind of funny and give the boys credit, (They could pronounce Holstein). I wouldn't leave them alone with my calves though.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  14. Chris

    Both sets of my grandparents were farmers and my brother still owns the family farm. However, there seems to be a disconnect and I blame most farmers for allowing it to continue. You have small, hard working family farmers and you have industrial corporations. Our anger is often directed at these corporations who abuse the animals, cheapen the quality of food, pump everything with drugs just to keep the system moving. At the same time these corporations put pictures of family farmers all over their websites and commercials. Sure, there are families that farm for corporations, but they have been strangled into a modern day serfdom. Working every day to feed the king or big ag. Unfortunately the disconnect with the public is aimed at the little guy and the little guy is partially to blame. While many have been forced to work for big ag, they turn around and defend the industry hook, line and sinker. Maybe the hard working farmer and the American public need to join forces and kick big ag out. We don't need them. They don't do anything but line their pockets off of taxpayers who give them huge subsidies and the sweat of the small farmer. America became the worlds bread basket BEFORE big ag took over. Since they have taken over that role has dried up. It is time for family farmers and the public to join and give the boot to big ag – Smithfield, Con Agra, etc...

    July 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • JAS1044

      Agreed! I've seen quite a few of these articles recently by small farmers defending what they do when the problem isn't with them, the problem is with those animal concentration camps A.K.A. big-ag factory farming.

      July 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  15. dakota2000

    Why is this on the front of CNN and not a story about 1776, the declaration of independence or something like that. Is this really the Communist News Networks?

    July 4, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Chris

      And yet you are here reading it. I guess that means you are a member of the Communist Party?

      July 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • KB

      Did you ever think that maybe the very fabric of America was built upon the backs of farmers, coal miners, men who worked the railroad, etc. Farmers helped build, feed and keep America going for generations. Farmers also produced some of the best war heros while their families prayed for their safety but also continued their back breaking work to feed the rest of us and provide for their families. Why not talk about them on the Fourth of July. In their own special way....they are heros.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  16. Sherri

    I am not bothered by muddy feet or them going slow. I KNOW that it is because of their hard work that I even HAVE a meal on my table. I could not do their jobs. Up at 3 a.m. Out in the weather all year! And not having any control over so much of your work life – can't control the rain, heat, cold. I don't know how they do it but I applaud them. I may not agree with their politics, but, hey, they probably don't like mine, but they keep doing what they're doing. Without farmers, NONE of us eat. And our farmers feel millions around the world, not just those of us in the U.S. Let's give them a break.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Bob from S.C.

      We do! They're called Government Subsidies.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  17. bugsy buck

    this is a great farm video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v41sEavtJ3E

    July 4, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  18. kb2vzj

    I am a farmer (rancher) and I think the point of the article is that non-farmers should get to know a farmer. If that is what was intended and not all the crazy nuts reading into it, then if you give a cr ap, then maybe, just maybe it would be a good thing to try it. Most farmers don't have the education that some have and we certainly don't make the net that some make. It is all relative. Farmers are close with nature (I mean the small farmers). That in itself is a great reward, which is larger than some bigwigs paycheck. spend some serious time alone with nature and you will agree. Now it is time for some idiot to tear up my comment. Hooray for you.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Sherri

      Thanks for writing. I've had farmers in my family and I know they work very very hard. I applaud all you do. You give almost every hour of every day to raise crops or animals so that all these people who you don't know can eat. Thanks to you and your other farmer friends! I appreciate everything you do.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
      • kb2vzj

        Thanks Sherri. it means a lot. However I am in the process of selling my ranch for the same reason that many small farmers have and are, There is no money in it. The small farmer used to be the largest producers in America and America does not allow them to exist. Soon they will be all but extinct. Mostly replaced by a fancy home and a few horses in the fields. They will never be recovered because as soon as that fancy house is built, the land value becomes to high for a farm anymore. The government subsidies are for the big farm and don't really help the small farm.

        July 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
        • KB

          I truely understand what you are saying. Our family has been on the same farm for almost 120 years. Growing up I never knew we were 'poor' due to always having everything that we really needed. We depend on nature and respect the ground to provide us with fresh food and healthy meat. Canned vegetables, fruits, fresh baked bread everyday...we didn't care about fancy shoes or things that others in the city considered 'essential'. Hard work, the love of God, and family is what we were always taught to be 'essential'. Over the years, the crops have stopped producing as much as they used to, the farm families have grown too old to farm and the children went to college to move on to different careers. Such as I did. But I know deep in my heart that if farming would again be able to provide I would go back. Taxes, the weather changes, the cost of equipment and fuel...they have made it impossible for farmers. I understand exactly what you said. There is a sadness and a deep seeded wish to continue to farm....but sometimes it is impossible. Try to hang on to your farm if you can. We had to find alternative ways to use the farm due to crops not providing. I am next in line for the farm and our family name will continue to hang at the front.

          July 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • surj

      thank you for doing what you do!!

      July 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
      • kb2vzj

        Thank you surj

        July 4, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Julie

      I once was involved in small-farming, and I appreciate your comments. Yep, even late 70s and 80s, you could see the BIG farmers taking over the small ones, and it is much, much worse now. Money talks, and that is a sad thing, that it has to be all about money. I understand making a living, but it has become much much more than that.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • marcy

      I have to disagree. I have a masters degree and I married a farmer because he is the smartest man I know and still find interesting. One can go through all the levels of education and they only become more narrow minded. I look at my husband and I see a man who can do anything. I hate to brag because I think most farmers are very intelligent. They are extremely diverse in their abilities – they have to be because of their job requirements. I wish everyone would get to know a farmer, the world would be a better place.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  19. DavidW0909

    I'm not sure I understand the reason for this article. Is it to suggest that there are people out there that feel that farmers are not as good as the rest of us? POPPYCOCK! Farmers work damn hard and I have nothing but the upmost respect for anyone who is brave enough to enter into the risky business of Farming. We have a backyard city slicker garden in our suburb and it's hard enough to get tomatos, some corn, beans, squash, eggplant, peppers, strawberries, blackberries, and rasberries and they NEVER look as good as what farmers grow and sell in the store so yeah, I totally respect farmers, I would never be brave enough to take on the challenge of becoming of Farmer, but I respect all of you.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  20. BillyBob Snaketail

    To all the banksters trying to foreclose on farmers-Eat your money and die.

    July 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  21. Joel

    Farmers, I am not bothered by your job or your lifestyle. I am bothered by not being able to eat breakfast at a restaurant in peace without hearing you guys say "Man, you wanna see this here e-mail forward about Obama banning American flags?".

    July 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  22. BillyBob Snaketail

    Sh!tkickers RULE!

    July 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  23. Our Tiny Earth

    Reblogged this on Our Tiny Earth and commented:
    A good read

    July 4, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  24. BB

    This article is absolutely dreadful.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  25. Framma

    After trying for a few summers to grow my own vegetables, I tip my hat to farmers. They have a very, very tough job, awful hours, unpredictable conditions – and low pay. My thanks to all of those who put in long days to put food on our tables.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  26. Tr1Xen

    Did anyone else read this article with a southern drawl?

    July 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • BD

      Yes, and it was awesome.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  27. Julie

    Go Vegetarian! we're not supposed to EAT animals......

    July 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Tr1Xen

      Yes we are, Julie. That's why they taste so good–because we're supposed to eat them! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my grill!

      July 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
      • Julie

        No, we're not. It's the seasonings you like, not the meat. I guaranty you do NOT eat your meat without salt and seasonings, or is it the blood that tastes so good to you?

        July 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
        • Kyle

          Steak tastes amazing with salt and pepper, and that's all it needs. The blood tastes awesome. No amount of salt, butter, or pepper will ever made iceberg lettuce taste good.

          July 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
        • Julie

          @ Kyle........ I eat a LOT more than lettuce, lol! See! it is the seasonings. You take a piece of meat and eat it with no seasonings, and see how much you like it. When you realize it is the seasonings you like, you will understand you can get the same satisfaction without killing an innocent creature.

          July 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
        • rm

          Sorry the best cut of meat I had was a fresh duck breast last fall, slightly seared to warm...nothing on it or on the plate. hunting, gathering, foraging, the trinity of existence. Humans are omnivores.

          July 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
        • Mom2001

          Have you ever actually been around livestock Julie?? I am more than happy to eat those cantankerous creatures. And before you ask, ours have a square mile of pasture to run in with plenty of feed and fresh water and are not mistreated. They are still mean and far from "innocent" in my book. You might change your mind if you had ever been chased by a bull or flogged by a turkey. I hate turkeys...

          July 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
        • daveloewe

          Veggies need seasonings just as much as meat. My wild rice tonight had a seasoning packet. my corn had salt and pepper added to it. My salad had dressing, cheese, Bac-Os and pepper. Unseasoned meat is just fine – but just about anything is better with seasoning.

          July 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
        • Julie

          @ Mom2011.....yes, I have raised cattle, own horses and lived on a farm. I am convinced we are not supposed to eat our fellow creatures. Sorry you like the taste of blood, but I have moved past it.

          July 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • AngerBot

      Two million years of evolution suggest otherwise...

      July 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
      • Julie

        meh

        July 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • BD

      Your eye teeth say hi! =)

      July 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • tlg

      Still need farmers to grow vegetables ...

      July 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
      • Julie

        yes we do....... Minus Monsanto and company, i LOVE farmers!

        July 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • DavidW0909

      Julie, I wonder what a Great White would look like if he turned Vegan? Maybe a Great Guppie. MEAT, it's whats for dinner!

      July 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
      • Julie

        I am assuming you are not a great white? There's plenty of stuff out there to eat without eating our fellow creatures...... just sayin'

        July 4, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • frontgate

      Got a chicken ready to put on the grill. Yeah buddy

      July 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Chris

      100% crap. While you certainly *can* get a balanced diet out of vegetables with a lot of effort, Humans are omnivores. You may want to deny it, you may have some bleeding heart feelins towards animals but the fact of the matter is in evolutionary terms, we most certainly *ARE* supposed to eat animals.

      July 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  28. MudMan

    There are lots of thankless jobs but we do them anyway – I work in the oil /gas field as a drilling fluids engineer. If people think farmers are hassled, try working in my industry. Sure, we make decent money but the working conditions are some of the most brutal on the planet – strange how oil/gas is only found in those places. We also spend large chunks of time away from our loved ones and work 12 to 16 hour days at all hours of the day and night. Think of us every time you start your car or lawnmower or cook on your stove or grill or stay warm using your natural gas furnace or sit in your plastic lawn chairs or use one of the gazillion products that use petroleum.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Riley

      Thank you MudMan! I am a farmer and I respect you big time, I need your gas/oil just as much (if not more) than you need my food. Without you working your but off I don't have a tractor or combine to drive, I don't have heat for my house, and most importantly I don't propane for my bbq

      Thank you again MudMan

      July 5, 2012 at 2:41 am |
  29. works4me

    darn straight?

    July 4, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  30. midogs2

    Everyone should own a pait of muck boots........................

    July 4, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  31. ron

    "The farmer is the only businessman who buys it retail, sales it wholesale and pays the freight both ways." JFK

    July 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  32. GulpOff

    I heard Monsanto was into farming. Do they get government subsidies?

    July 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • gargle

      If we were a true free market capitalism society, farmers wouldn't get subsidies. Turns out we were socialist almost 100 years before Obama even got into office!! I wouldn't mind subsidies as much if it was for healthier foods. Ever wonder why health costs are so high and so many Americans have diabetes and other obesity related problems?

      July 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
      • KD

        If it was a true free market capitalism society, then governements wouldn't set various taxes, tariffs, embargoes, etc. against each other that make marketing a commodity outside the realms of a true free market. Subsidies came to be for various reasons. Hunger, drought, Dust Bowl etc. during the 1930s caused some policy in the 1940s to try to create a steady affordable food supply. I can see the good and bad in subsidies; some people need them and some don't. Somebody who has all of their land and machinery paid for could get by without them. Someone younger trying to start-up can't absorb the risks in a year with horrible prices or horrible growing conditions. The 1980s farm crisis was another example of long term risky market environment created by inflation, the Russian wheat embargo, and dramatic increases in interest rates during the Reagan administration. The entire issue is complicated and people who complain about subsidies with one-liners really don't understand the issue. When farms are failing left and right it affects other sectors of the economy and is a ripple effect. In that situation, subsidies are cheap insurance.

        July 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
        • mikes123

          You're arguing as if the whole world needs to be free market. Not going to happen. That doesn't prevent the US from working toward that end. We subsidize at both ends – the producer (farm subsidies) and the consumer (food stamps). The result is you get a distorted market, where prices don't reflect supply and demand, and investment doesn't follow need.

          July 4, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Mommi

      Monsanto doesn't need subsidies, believe me they make sure they get paid at the expense of us all. They are responsible for the chemical poisoning of our environment, food and the loss of many farms.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
      • Armer

        Monasanto is also responsible for developing the technology to increase production to feed the world. You wouldn't want people to starve now would you? And don't tell me people are starving now... It would be ten times worse without the likes of monsanto, Dow, pioneer etc...

        July 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  33. Eric

    This article is absolutely awful. First, everyone realizes what an important and essential job farmers have. Secondly, I can't imagine a more condescending piece. "Don't be running those stop signs!"

    This is CNN Eatocracy trying to post some BS salt of the earth July 4th feel good story. A story written by some NYU graduate who has never been to the real country.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Greg

      Shut up!

      July 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • BB

      Eric, your post is spot on. This article is embarrassingly bad.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
      • Cranston Lamont

        BB and Eric, I don't know you and I'll be thrilled to keep it that way.

        July 4, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  34. Evan

    Wow. Surprised at these comments. I understand not liking subsidies. However, You should consider this question: If you do not like being dependent on foreign oil, do you think being dependent on foreign food will be any better? If gasoline gets too expensive, I can stop driving. Try that with you stomach. I think we should support U.S. farmers.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • John Deere

      We already have foreign food. You don't really believe that all fresh fruits and vegetables that one can buy at the store any day of the year actually grow in the US all 365 days of the year do you?

      July 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  35. Kimberley Burns

    NOT WRITTEN BY A FARMER!!! "YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW" IS A POSITIVE PHRASE MEANING WHAT YOU PUT IN, YOU BENEFIT FROM AND GET OUT FROM THE SEEDS PLANTED, OR 'SOWN'".....TO "REAP WHAT YOU SEW" IS TO TEAR OUT AND START OVER WHEN DOING A SEWING PROJECT WHEN STITCHES AREN'T STRAIGHT, OR HAVE CAUGHT SOMETHING UP AND STITCHED IT INTO THE BINDING OF LAYERED FABRICS MEANT TO BE PUT TOGETHER AND NOW, ONE NEEDS TO START OVER AND DO AGAIN, CORRECTLY. UNLESS THIS PHOTO IS A PICTURE OF AN ORGANIC OR GRASS GRAZED BREED OF PIG (LIKE THE TAMWORTH) MOST AGRIBUSINESS RAISING PIGS/HOGS ARE NOT AS GRACIOUS IN THE 'BUSINESS' TO ALLOW THEIR ANIMALS FREEDOM AND SUNLIGHT, LIKE THIS, WHICH MAY BE A MOM AND POP FAMILY FARM ESTABLISHMENT, RATHER THAN THE FACTORY FARM FOR MEAT PRODUCTION.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • BD

      You didn't have to yell.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  36. Harry

    I got no problem with farmers. They are downright needed in our society. What I dislike is the large corporations running these farmers around dictating what they should and should not do much of the time against their advice and our saftey. Thus we get crops that are tainted and get thousands of people sick and perhaps a some die. I hate corporations not farmers.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  37. GulpOff

    i love you, eieio!
    oink-oink

    July 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  38. kOkOmO

    God bless the American farmer!

    July 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  39. Steve C

    Look, there's not doubt that our society, our nation, needs the sweat,work ethic, and product of the farmer.
    Despite the perception (anchored in some truth) that most consumers wouldn't know what a real tomato plant would look like or what part of the cow sirloin steak comes from, while ignorant, they appreciate the needed commodity that farmers produce.

    However, it's not the small farmer that is maligned; it's the large corporate farms that are quickly replacing them that are creating the chasm of apathy, indifference, and out-and-out, hostility.

    When the likes of McDonald's and Walmart are dictating the how our cattle are raised and produce grown, is it any wonder that consumers have become disenchanted.

    E-coli tainted spinach and strawberries? How is that even possible?! It's possible when large corporate cattle farms (term used loosely, they actually poo fields.) have putrid fecal laden water run-off that contaminates the nearby agricultural fields of spinach and strawberries.

    What does this have to do with the small family farmer? Everything. The "real" family farmer understood the balance of agriculture and harvesting; the interplay between sustainability and production.

    Until we return to our long-term agricultural roots (no pun intended), our food industry will continue to be hi-jacked by large corporations that have little desire to offer wholesome foods for the population when short term over concentrated efforts produce higher profits.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Hannah H

      Couldn't agree more!

      July 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • julibear

      He's right, you know, about the vegetables and meat losing nutritional value and not tasting as good as they once did. Agribusiness is poisoning the food supply in the name of plenty. We only need 'just enough,' not plenty, and the extra food does nothing but poison the environment, as CNN recently reported as well. So thats a whole other topic on poverty and solving world hunger, but for now I think subsidies should be taken from Monsanto and invested in small organic neighborhoods or 'city' farms so that good produce is produced by the city itself for the use of its people. Turn ruins into farms, turn rooftops into farms! Feed the people, keep them healthy, clean the air, lower tempuratures, limit greenhouse gases.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • I Witness

      Amen. (And for any REAL small farmers out there with pigs they march down the country road) my apologies. Hail the mall farmer, and Happy 4th of July in a great country built on free dissent.

      July 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  40. KING SALMON

    I used too ride a full grown pig when I was a kid, stupid pig would always go straight to it's mud hole and lay down.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Matt

      and then YOU rode it again didn't you? Bestiality is sick! So are you!

      July 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  41. hiplanedrifter

    Self-pitying stuff like this is revolting.

    Subtext: be careful or I'll take my ball and go home. Didn't you hate those kids?

    July 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  42. Drew

    This article makes no sense. I've never heard these criticisms even levelled at farmers. Who the heck even makes fun of or insults farmers? Shame on the eatocracy editors for even posting this.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • BB

      Agreed... This is the worst piece of fake drivel I've ever read. CNN is turning into more and more of some junk rag everyday.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  43. ironage

    eieio

    July 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  44. Erik

    To all the farmers, y'all do have a thankless job; it's hard work. It's even quite a bit of work to maintain a small garden at home but well worth it. What is despicable is all the so-called foodies and celebrity chefs that have jumped on the trendy "farm to table" or other nonsense like that and charging exorbitant prices for those meals. It's no wonder that people get turned off on that and head for the nearest fast-food chain. The best thing to do is buy the produce yourself from the farmers (or grow it in your own garden) and make a good meal yourself.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • consumer # 300,000,001

      Well said indeed. Another possibility that folks might keep in mind is farmer's markets or small, locally owned grocery stores. If enough folks had access to the non-huge megacorp farm produced food, the market WOULD correct itself and it would make things better for small farms and local populations.

      Also, I think people need to adjust their lifestyles to accommodate a more seasonal-based diet. So that megacorp farms aren't making big bucks selling fresh watermelons and corn in February. Stuff that comes from Australia or Chile. That would discourage them from taking over local farms in those countries too. Seasonally based diets AND a renewal of bartering would encourage people to do pickling and canning their own local foods as well. Or even a redesign of outdoor, wintertime cold-storage solutions might help.

      Change is the only constant.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Ted

      I'm a line cook at a "trendy" farm to table restaurant, and guess what...nothing on our menu is more than 12 dollars. We put money into the pockets of local farmers and put food on the tables that you'll never see at chain restaurants. If you'd rather eat out of a freezer or a bunch of cans, that's your right, but don't put down those of us who make an effort to make freshness and quality a priority.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
      • Erik

        Ted, I'm not talking about folks like you, $12 is more than reasonable. I've seen way too may eating places that claim they get local produce and food in loud font on the menu, load it up on fluffy adjectives and all of a sudden you have a $50 plate of local "free range" chicken drizzled with "esquisite" local sauce. I just avoid places like that.

        July 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  45. Jay

    Do American farmers not use them old grammars anymore? Or is this just some CNN writer pretending to be a "farmer" by golly's sake?

    July 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      No CNN writers were involved; we're not trying to trick you. That came in as a comment and we shared. That's all.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • Jay

        Its clearly complete BS posted by a CNN writer or a CNN fanboy. What moronic garbage.

        July 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
      • Eric

        Nobody is tricked except for CNN payroll who has to pay somebody for this crap.

        July 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
      • BB

        Self pity pieces suck. And if it is fake it sucks even more. Seriously, this is absolutely dreadful.

        July 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  46. I Witness

    Ridiculous article, ridiculous picture. Don't be fooled folks, this is propaganda from a big corporation. And, see those pigs? They mostly don't exist. 90% of all the pigs in the US, the bacon you eat, comes from pigs that never see the sunlight or can even turn around in their cages, factories of them owned by giant agra corporations. The little farms are mainly gone in the US. With MBA's in charge of the operations, not many multinational corporate farm"folksy" farmers are getting their boots dirty. Pure made-up propaganda by the same "folks" who make those big oil adverstisments showing normal people saying, "We want electricity and clean air." "So do we!" What a joke.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Imafarmer

      Dear me I Witness!!! I have never seen the garbage you talk about. Every farmer that I know of in my area fits the description of a "family farm."

      July 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Mt farmboy

      Wow, your pretty ignorant. I live near two pig farms that sell to you city folk. Those pigs eat better then I do some days and receive annual medical visits more often then some of you even when your in the hospital. And those pigs have plenty of room in the 5×5 pens they live in, and it's only two to a pen. What you fail to understand is that pigs don't herd like cattle and they do an awful lot of environmental damage when left to their own devices. And if this lifestyle offends you, stop eating. That food came from somewhere and that somewhere most likely has ties to a "horrible" farm. If you need me, I'll be out shooting gophers.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • Jay

        This issue here "family farm" guy is that big agro is taking over meat farming and already have taken over meat processing. What percentage do you think of the bacon that is produced in North America comes from your "family farm". Well its decreasing rapidly to be replaced by massive operations. And the 5 X 5 pen comment is BS and you know it...

        July 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
        • Imafarmer

          From my back porch I cannot see any sky scrapers, just acres of cotton and corn. I drove over to my next door neighbor a few minutes ago and he was telling me how his hogs behind the barn were loving the mud puddle he created for them this morning. He grows a few pigs out each year and his family does their own butchering and fills their freezers. Also my brother trapped a wild pig several weeks ago and fattened him up for the grill. She will taste delicious this evening at the gathering of about 10 neighbor families. Hope you don't feel too left out.

          July 4, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Armer

      Excellent post to demonstrate what you and the rest of the uneducated DON'T know.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Kay

      Ridiculous comments of your own!!! It's *you* who have been fooled by anti-corporate farm propaganda. Like it or not, about 98% of farms in the US are family farms...so much for your "The little farms are mainly gone in the US" claim. By the way, large scale family farms in the US produce more agricultural output than corporate farms!

      I'm totally in favor of promoting free-range treatment of animals. But YOU should stick to the facts, not the propaganda, too.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • John Thomas

      Well said...it is mostly corporations who torture animals for profit these days although there are a few family farms left who do it as well.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • I Witness

      For all you fake good ole boys claiming that you are farmers in these posts, and claiming that these are typical pigs in a typical situation, dream on. The US Department of Agriculture, 2002 Census of Agriculture, released June 2004, indicates that not 90% but 99% of the pork raised for human consumption in the US is raised in CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) or IFAP (Industrial Farm Animal Production) facilities,where 1 building can house more than 125,000 animals under one roof and are designed to produce the highest possible output at the lowest possible cost to the operator. What a joke Mt Farmer and Im a Farmer and Jay and the rest. Maybe you guys are really living on one plot and a truck patch and sell to Butcher Smith, but for the other 99%, the truth, the real truth is that this article is propaganda for the BIG factory farms. And, no thanks, I only eat free range animals, if I can find them and verify that was their life. 5' x 5' pen? "Sorry about the muddy boots", so fake as to be... un American.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
      • KD

        125,000? I kind of doubt that. I've actually been in a confinement operation. Have you?

        July 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  47. Furseal

    277.3 billion in subsidies 1995-2011.

    http://farm.ewg.org/region.php

    Need I say more?

    July 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • keith123

      You think food prices are high? Just think how much we'd all be paying for food without the subsidies.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Drew

      Thats actually less than 20 billion per year, going to the people who produce food so you and I don't have to worry about our next meal...also, take a look at the Farm Bill sometime. 80% of the funding is for the food stamp program.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  48. allenwoll

    Farmers are one thing - farporations are another, usually no better than any other x-poration.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  49. s

    How much does he get in subsidies?

    July 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • WDinDallas

      Not enough! He will probably have to sell to a corporation if he has two bad years in a row. The cost of running a farm is getting larger, especially with all the silly urbanites coming up with stupid laws and regulations.

      If we subsidize the urban gutter rats that have never worked a day in their life, nor their parents or grandparents, we can certainly subsidize our farmers when they lose a crop due to weather.

      July 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • BD

      Food security says hi.

      For a country edging toward an international debt crisis the lack of priority on domestic food production is downright terrifying.

      July 4, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • KD

      How much do you even know about how subsidies really work?

      July 4, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  50. PulTab

    The future is lab created meat. No actual animals involved. Be prepared.

    July 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • consumer # 300,000,001

      Hey, if its as tasty as a medium rare thick cut beef tenderloin, sign me up!!!

      July 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
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