Farmer’s Christmas Wish List
A long, late harvest means that Christmas comes fast. I’ve got to admit that I’m struggling to get in the spirit of the season as I hustle to finish fall work that is normally completed a month ago. Kids help to remind us of the excitement and thrill of the holidays, and as I watch my son do final edits on his Christmas list, I thought I would do one from a farmer’s perspective. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
All I want for Christmas is……
1) The opportunity for profitability. Every farmer on the planet knows that farming and risk go hand in hand and I’m willing to carry my fair share. But over-regulation, misguided trade policies, irresponsible attacks from main stream media and a wobbly global economy are all man-made factors that are working against our profitability goals.
2) Solid Leadership. This includes leadership at farm organizations, our elected officials responsible for agriculture, and even our heads of state, all of whom impact our future with the decisions they make.
3) Renewed Investment in Public Agricultural Research. We need a bigger commitment from governments to fund public agricultural research. Yes, the private sector is investing huge amounts of money to develop new technologies and products for farmers, but I’ve always felt that we need a three-pronged approach. This includes a vibrant private sector, a committed and long-term public research program, and a progressive/innovative farm community to keep agriculture moving forward.
4) A Recognition of the True Cost of Food. Our society does not put a realistic value on safe, nutritious food. Collectively, farmers, processors and consumers have created a situation where food is the lowest valued potential use for good farmland. It is not sustainable for the average consumer to meet all their food needs for less than 10 percent of their income.
My list could go on and on, but this is not the time of year to be greedy. And I don’t want to give the impression that I am pessimistic about the future of agriculture. There are concerns and challenges to deal with, but I see great upside for our sector in the coming years. With 2009 all but over, we can all begin to focus on the opportunities that will come in 2010. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!
From all of us at Farms.com I wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and a rewarding and profitable New Year. We appreciate your support and feedback!