[Market-farming] OT Thought Provoking (or maybe just provoking:)

Rick Hopkins rdhopkins at americanpasturage.com
Sun Jan 26 16:49:13 EST 2003

Rick W.

I would say provoking.

The fundamental basis for sustainable agriculture is its interdependence
with social, energy, human health, and local economic concerns.  Equitable
global trade is a part of this interdependence, but is not sustainable in
its current practice for food and fiber needs.  Developing countries are
being exploited for their natural and labor resources for profit.

Global economic stability is dependent on regional food production and
processing.  The current trends in food production only lead to a
concentration of wealth, loss of sustainability, loss of diversity, and
rural poverty.

It is difficult to think that we might actually find future generations
living as Aldus Huxley portrays in his Brave New World, but many of the
policy makers appear to believe that human destiny would be better off in
the complete care and control of a few.

Commodity farm prices are based on subsidies, not global markets.  We are
exporting our future for corporate profit with our food policies.

And if the glass if half full, it is too big and a wasted resource.

Rick H.

-----Original Message-----
From: market-farming-admin at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-admin at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Rick
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2003 3:16 PM
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [Market-farming] OT Thought Provoking (or maybe just

In reference to the foreign products, we must remember that the society as a
whole is better off with trade than without trade. And that goes double for
the earth as a whole in terms of economic stability. The more you intertwine
economic activity, vis a vis even Red Communist China and the U.S.A. for
example, the less likely it is that either side wants to wreck that
relationship because it would disrupt internal politics so much.

It sometimes seems so one sided with the examples given, but one could take
a glass is half full approach and point out that the car the John Doe drove
was Made in the U.S.A., and had dramatically higher quality than comparable
products from a decade or two ago due to the power of competition, that the
computer networks he used and many in the world use are U.S. made, same for
investments, banking, insurance, food, etc.

If we did not have the imports, would we really be better off? We would not
have as many material possessions and some might find that a good thing:)
But for the most part our standard of living would be lower.

Our farm prices would be MUCH lower for the commodities and family farms
would be further stressed since exports would likely be totally shut down in
retribution and ability to pay by foreign buyers.

The lesson is that we must learn new skills that are actually needed in the
marketplace, or else become entrepreneurs ourselves. Sounds like a good time
to relax with a book such as "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", borrowed from the library
of course and not actually purchased with money that needs to go into

I wish I had known this stuff when I was 30 instead of over 50 though.

Just the other day I saw a fellow who I have known for some time and who had
a business background. He knew NOTHING about computers. But he saw an up and
coming area for business and started a Computerland franchise when he was in
his mid 40's, and retired 10 years later. Every time I see him I realize
that many could have done that.


Rick Williams
Misty Ridge Farm
Direct marketed dairy beef and produce
(also dairy heifers and beef stockers)
Viroqua, WI

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