SPOTLIGHT

U.S. farmers continue to be undervalued

Seth Hawks, News Writer

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When you think of dinner, do you think about mashed potatoes, steak and green beans?  When I think about dinner, I think about those, but also where they came from.  I feel that farmers are probably the least appreciated people in America.  The average citizen has no idea the amount of stress and pressure farmers have each and every year.
Food doesn’t just magically appear in the supermarket.  It is grown by a farmer, who then sells it to the supermarket.  Most people do not understand the time and money that goes into their food, so here’s a little summary of what goes on.
The farmer spends most of his money during planting.  He has to buy gas for the tractors, new equipment, seeds, and fertilizer.  Sometimes, the farmer has to pay others to help with planting.  It takes many 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. days to finally get everything planted.  Then the seeds get watered by irrigation, which costs a lot, for months.  The whole time, the farmer is hoping no storms come through or that there is a drought, because he could lose most of his crops.
The farmer finally gets to harvest his crops and sell them to markets and corporations for a very nice price.  This would be ideal and rather profitable, if the farmer did not have to spend almost 80% of his money on the next year’s harvest.
Every minute, over an acre of farmland is turned into development, according to American Farmland Trust.  We are literally causing ourselves a potential food shortage in the next 30 years. It is really confounding to know that people refuse to think of the consequences of their actions, the consequences of harsh development over sustaining practices.
To understand farming on a smaller scale, download Farming Simulator 2014 on your smartphone or gaming system.  Although obviously not as labor-intensive as farming itself, this game shows you the amount of work involved on a farm to get the job done right.

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U.S. farmers continue to be undervalued