Did you know there is more to farming than tractors? More than seed science or mother nature or marketing? Currently one of the most important parts of farming is the government.
If this surprises you, let me explain. It is a fact of life that what is good for one person may not be good for another. For example, iTunes was good for music lovers but bad for local music stores. High corn prices are great for corn farmers, but bad for ranchers who feed corn to their cows. Stealing something is good for the thief and bad for the victim.
And so we have rules. A farmer’s problem is that the people who make these rules don’t really understand what it is we do.
Last year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and our government in DC got the idea to have farmers regulate dust. Yep. Dust. To promote a cleaner environment farmers would have a limit to how much dust they could create. If you’ve never been to a farm before I’ll just tell you. God is the only one who can control dust. But, you say, a cleaner environment is good. Yes. It is. But good for one isn’t good for another. Because if we must control dust, with sprinklers or less farming or whatever, YOU don’t have food. And that is bad for pretty much everyone.
So an important part of our family farm is talking with government officials any time we can about they rules they create for our farms. And we are not the only business which must do this.
Talk with your family and friends about the jobs they have and the rules they live by. Do they ever call their Congressman? Are there rules that affect you today, even as a young person?
Use the internet, phone book, or friends to help you find the contact information for the elected officials who represent you. You may need to learn which district you live in first. Write their e-mail address or phone number on a sticky-note and place it in a family address book to use later, or write a letter now about something that concerns you.