Tracker Pixel for Entry

We need to protect farmers from attacks

by Rob Port | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Say Anything | June 10th, 2015

Photo by flickr user Guila Van Port I don’t spend a lot of time scrolling through Facebook because I have better things to do than be bombarded with misleading clickbait stories and personal drama of the sort some people insist on sharing with the global internet community. But the other day a friend of mine posed an interesting question in a post.

She asked, by way of provoking a discussion, what the most important discovery of all time was.

That got me thinking, because there are a lot of really good responses to a question like that, and it was fun to discuss the merits and demerits of all the possibilities. There isn’t one right answer, but I think I arrived at the best possible response.

The most important discovery by humanity has been agriculture. There’s no question in my mind about it.

One of the other commenters on the thread suggested that gravity was the greatest discovery. I’m not sure that qualifies - we were living with gravity long before the concept was “discovered” - but it rings up an interesting point.

Could Isaac Newton have been inspired to mathematically quantify gravity had he not seen an apple fall from a tree near his home? A tree that was no doubt planted and attended to by a farmer?

Could Newton have attended Cambridge to study the world and make great advancements to our knowledge of it if he weren’t able to subsist on the toil of farmers cultivating land and husbanding animals?

Agriculture is our greatest discovery because it has made room in our lives for so many other great discoveries. Astronomers have time to gaze at the stars, engineers are free to build, and doctors can focus on fighting back disease because they can rely on farmers and ranchers to provide a consistent source of food.

Before agriculture, most human endeavor was tied up in finding enough food to survive. It was only after agriculture that we became free to do everything else worth doing.

Photo by USDA gov Yet today agriculture is taken for granted. Schools which teach agriculture are derided as “cow colleges.” Most Americans, when asked to think of a farmer or a rancher, probably conjure up an image of some provincial rube who dresses funny and bangs around on dirt roads in a pickup truck on the way to a square dance.

What they probably don’t consider is that the person they’re thinking of, whatever their fashion or cultural choices, makes our modern way of life possible.

That’s a major disconnect, and it explains a lot of environmental politics. Farmers are under attack in myriad ways, and not many Americans realize how dangerous a situation that is.

For instance, the EPA’s new “Waters of the U.S.” rule is potentially an expansion of federal regulatory authority to every mud puddle in America. Farmers are frightened of the impact this will have on their livelihood. “Wherever rain falls, water puddles or streams trickle, would become the regulatory prerogative of an unelected and unaccountable EPA and their bureaucrats,” Pete Hanebutt, policy director for the North Dakota Farm Bureau, has said of the rule.

Self-appointed experts - most of them lacking any sort of meaningful expertise - rail against the use of pesticides and herbicides and genetically modified foods which are the cornerstones of modern farming. They tout organic farming, as though we could feed our modern society without modern innovation.

Speaking of which, according to data from the USDA, per-acre wheat yields have tripled since 1950, soybean yields have quadrupled, and corn yields have sextupled. Overall, agriculture now requires about 61 percent less land to produce the same amount of food.

That’s nothing short of astounding. Yet, again, it is all taken for granted.

There are problems with American farm policy. There’s no question that certain government programs have distorted markets and should be reformed. Yet, in recent times we seem to be moving in a darker direction, one where the very industry of farming seems to be under threat from an army of politicians, bureaucrats, and regulators.

We need to reverse that trend and let farmers farm. They seem to know what they’re doing.

RECENTLY IN

Say Anything

Tracker Pixel for Entry LoganOnlineAds Tracker Pixel for Entry RareBeerPicnic Tracker Pixel for Entry RRVFair2018 Tracker Pixel for Entry Pekin2018

Recently in:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Policy, not law, has torn more than 2,300 children from their parents along the U.S.-Mexico border. Although immigration reform has been a heated topic for decades, the policy of zero tolerance began with a…

I don’t think so. You might be tempted to buy a service plan—also known as an extended warranty—on your next laptop, desktop or other electronic gadget. But chances are what you spend will be money down the drain. Retailers…

Thursday, June 21, 8 p.m.-11 p.m.Hotel Donaldson, 101 N BroadwayJake Ingamar may be best known as a solo acoustic, indie singer-songwriter/pedal steel player. For the very first time, he’s plugging in and is going full blown…

This week’s highly anticipated edition of the HPR is coming straight from Madrid, Spain, a city steeped in romance and tradition as well as contemporary nuances. Ever since I read “The Sun Also Rises” at the age of 14, I…

Memo To My Fellow AfricansScience tells us that anatomically modern human beings started to evolve in Africa from our very close relatives the chimps and apes about 300,000 years ago. We are still not sure of the exact time and…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

Every year the Fargo Moorhead area celebrates its love of food with Restaurant week. Each restaurant involved prepares a special menu to showcase the best of what they have to offer. This year there are seventeen restaurants…

Front Street Taproom has struck up a relation with local record shop, Vinyl Giant. There are two events where turntables are set up and people can play their records. Every Wednesday they host Vinyl Night from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.…

Writer-director Chloe Zhao’s sophomore feature “The Rider” cements her status as one of contemporary filmmaking’s most promising voices. A carefully curated blend of fact and fiction, the movie focuses on the aftermath of a…

By Tayler Klimektklimek@cord.eduCome one, come all to the 59th anniversary of the Midwestern Invitational Art Exhibition! This tradition celebrates each year with a preview and awards selection the first night of its showing, with…

Projects have a tendency to take on a life of their own once they’ve reached a certain point. When the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre was established in 1946 to offer other local opportunities for artistic expression outside…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

On June 16, the North Dakota Brewers Guild will be presenting “Under Brew Skies.” This will be the third year for the beer festival being held in Fargo’s Island Park. The festival will feature over twenty breweries primarily…

Best Local CelebrityCarson WentzBest Stylist / BarberJed Felix, Everett’s BarbershopBest Salon / Barber ShopEverett’s BarbershopBest Tattoo Parlor46 & 2 TattooBest Tattoo ArtistMeg Felix, No Coast TattooBest Gift ShopZandbroz…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comAnd they lived “happily ever after.” Many people in the U.S. believe in love and matrimony, but marriage takes consistent effort and time to weather the ups and downs.According to…

Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.edu“Rev. William Barber is the closest thing to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that we have in our midst.”- Prof. Cornell West on the Poor People’s Campaign Co-Founder, Rev. William BarberRecently, I was…