Monty Python ruined things for all of us. How so? Because if you mention a career in growing food, this is what most Americans think:
And most of the time, that’s where the conversation ends, even if one has more to say on the subject.
Yet, as the Greenhorns blog pointed out recently, one way to put Americans back to work is to encourage them to go into food production careers.
Of course, it’s more complicated than that. I know because I’m an American who decided to pursue a food production career. What I found is that I can be done, but our government could make it easier for more people to do it.
I’m not talking about throwing borrowed money at the problem. No, I’m talking about getting rid of the mountain of rules and regulations that strangle small farms. Sure, those rules and regs might be appropriate to control industrial ag producers. Most small farms have nothing to do with the problems big ag producers create.
Instead, what small farms need is rules and regs that help us hire. That help us invest. That help us succeed without penalizing us for success.
I imagine that, with a simple set of rule changes that differentiate small-scale and sustainable food production from industrial agriculture, America’s small farms could easily put 1 to 2 percent of the people currently employed back to work in careers with nearly infinite potential for future employment. I’d bet that quite a few of those 1 to 2 percent would go on to establish their own small farms and hire people of their own.
If only our government would listen. And care. And act. If only the voters thought this was important.
So, we keep trying. Maybe, eventually, we can change the view to something more positive.