Welcome to week 1 discussion of Fields of Farmer by Joel Salatin. This week we are in Chapters 1 and 2.
Chapter 1 deals with “The Need” for farmers.
Last week, a blog reader wrote this:
My daughter was interested in becoming a doctor, but with all these new government regulations, every doctor she meets is discouraging her from entering the profession, as it’s just not worth it anymore financially or otherwise. So one of my sons would be a fantastic farmer, but with all these regulations meant to centralize and factory-ize farming, is sustainable farming “sustainable”? Will local farming still enable families to earn a living wage as we slip further and further into centralization/statism/federal government control/USDA and FDA as police entities?
What do you all think?
On page 12 of the book, Joel writes:
“Young people don’t need to buy a farm, tractors, and buildings. In some ways, I think it’s easier to become a full time farmer today than at any time in American history.”
He goes on to say that this is because of the increased interest in local foods. How would you contrast this statement with the concern above?
And just because we’re so passionate about this, I’m going to insert a small commercial break here. Have you joined the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense yet? If you haven’t, can I
strongly encourage, no, can I ask and plead with you to do so? If we want to fight for farm and food freedom, this is the place where the battles are being fought and won. The more inertia we can put behind this group, the more likely our small family farms will survive.
Chapter 2 – “The Field Classroom”
One of the things that stuck out to me in this chapter was this:
“I don’t understand why college degrees are honored more than entrepreneurial prowess.”
I agree. I was homeschooled from 2nd grade through high school and then went to college for a degree in Paramedic. But you know what? While in school, I also worked for a family doctor who took me under his wing. I learned more under his tutelage than all the book learning combined. It’s “in the field” learning. Sure, there are many professions that may require more “book learning”, but think of all the ones that don’t?
My grandfather was very disappointed in me when I announced my decision to marry a farmer. An uneducated blue collar was how he saw it. He told me, “You’ll never have enough money. You won’t be happy.” I was pleased to be able to prove him wrong. After 10 years of being married, when we visited him last year, he admitted that he had been wrong. He had a lot of respect for my husband and thought that Daniel had done very well for himself even though he didn’t have a college education. However, Granddad was sure to back this up with, “But I don’t think not going to college is for everyone. Most people wouldn’t be able to make it without college.”
I know that many people feel the same way as my Grandfather. Do you? Why or why not?
I’ve shared some very personal things with you here today and I hope that you won’t think badly of my Granddad. 🙂 He’s a very strong patriarch and I have a lot of respect for him even though we don’t always see eye to eye. In many ways, I’m a lot like my Granddad, both of us strong and creative enough to forge our own paths in life, even if it means going against what is popular.
Your turn – what jumped out at you while reading these first 2 chapters?
Let’s talk. Feel free to post comments and suggestions all week long!
I’ll see you next week with discussions on Chapters 3 and 4.
To catch up all discussions of Fields of Farmers, click here.