Monday, May 14, 2012

Farmers, Politics and Change: The Beginning of the End of Rural America?

I hope not!

While the plight of urban decay has been widely publicized,  we are confronting similar issues facing us: lack of well-paying jobs, rural brain drain, food deserts, poverty, and lack of access to quality health care have either been ignored or largely misunderstood by policy-makers and the press. Today, more rural Citizens are on food stamps and face bleaker economic prospects than their urban counterparts, despite the romantic image of small-town life often portrayed in the media.

For the past 50 years, rural America has seen its best, brightest, and most mobile flee the countryside in search of jobs as federal farm, economic, and trade policies have slowly bled family farmers off the land. Here's something I found.....Since 1960, when John F. Kennedy was elected, America has lost over 1.7 million family farms — the backbone of rural economies — with farmers in the U.S. today now outnumbered by prisoners which is ridiculous

Despite increases in farm productivity and improved planting and harvesting equipment, more insidious economic factors, like increased industry consolidation, poorly designed subsidy programs, and overspecialization in industrial livestock production, with poor contract protections, have hollowed out the countryside. Instead of prosperity, industrial agriculture has created vast profits for corporations at the top of the food chain, but left a growing number of rural America’s Main Streets to resemble ghost towns, and its residents poorly prepared to meet the nation’s important challenges of the 21st century.

While, despite a growing national awareness of food and agriculture issues, many people in urban areas have never met a farmer or someone who produced the food that appears on their plate each day, most Main Street businesses in rural America realize that their livelihood and very survival are tied to the economic well-being of the local farm economy.

And if you want to save rural America, you have to save the family farmer.

1 comment:

Wake Up Georgia said...

Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal, neither are friends to the farmers of this State !

The Rural Republican Legislature of Georgia must be servin up sum powerful kool aid all about this State to get reelected ?

Take the Legislature of Georgia and multiply times 50 and you have the US Congress with an approval rating of what ? Perhaps 10% approval or less ?

And WHAT ? 150 Counties in Georgia went for Newt ? God help this state !!!

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