How did we get here.
Updated: Feb 17
I started farming when I was very young, not by choice. Neither was it the dream of my grandfather to farm, he did it out of necessity. I noticed the same trend he did, fewer and fewer people were farming, and this was not going to change. My grandfather posited that fewer people were farming because there was no money in it, I knew fewer people were farming because agronomy had changed. My grandfathers methods were out of date, and the extraction farming method was flawed in and of itself, hence no money in it. Anything that is detrimental to the resource you use to produce your goods will fail, and it has. This highlights the importance of using holistic approaches to farm systems, like no-till, cover crops, and rotational grazing. For me this meant that I needed to always keep in mind that farming was what I was going to come back to, and right the ship.
My grandfather wholeheartedly believed that each and every person should pull themselves up by their own boot straps. This is a foolish belief to hold, simply because it is impossible to achieve, and generally because no single person can bring about all of the things necessary to build a business or enterprise on their own, to include a farm. Either way, he never gave me anything or did anything for me, and always expected free labor or favors with nothing in return. Unfortunately, now his farm is in disrepair and dilapidated, again another reason pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps does not work, one day those bootstraps break, and then you are left with nothing. Especially, if your free labor has grows up and moves away from the farm. You really have to pay attention to those externalities, or as they say you reap what you sow.
I got out of the military at the end of 2017, for the second time. When I came back home I, again, found myself looking for the job where I could say that corny line people always give when they have a career: "You'll never work a day if you do what you love." Our family farm had been completely run into the ground, so my first question to my family was could I get the farm back up and running, the answer was a resounding No.
There is a phenomenon among the older generations called "gatekeeping." What those previous generations do not understand about this method is that our new, modern, digital world does not care if the gate is being watched, as there are too many avenues to accomplish, well, anything. I started my own farm, which I have built from the ground up. If you stand in the way, people will just go around, under, or over. Pray they don't opt to go through you.