Outstanding In Their Field

Outstanding in their field Stng Head-WEB

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how a farmland preservation program would work and why farmers/landowners would participate in such a program. It was my intention that I would write this week about why the non-farm community would support such a program.

After much deliberation and a fair amount of frustration, I realized I could not easily pen such an article. Many points that I think would be positive of farmland preservation were centered upon my way of thinking as a lifelong farmer.

Why would someone who is living in a community like living near a farm? I only know a few things from casual conversations with some city friends that state they like being surrounded by farms, but, without walking/living in their shoes, I can only speculate why they feel that way. Well, here goes:

Do they like the view of an open field or being able to see the sun rise or set? Maybe they do not want neighbors, or they want to feel a connection to agriculture. Do they like watching crops grow or seeing the machinery outside their window when farming commences?

Maybe they like wildlife or hunting and want them to have a home and a chance to view them in the fields or harvest some wild dinner? Maybe they want security of knowing there is land close by, growing/producing food.

I grew up in an era where food, clothing and shelter were considered the 3 necessities of life. Today, it seems we have plenty, or perhaps too many homeless people, surviving without a real home; people buy clothes that already have rips and tears in them. I guess that makes food the main daily necessity to maintain life. I suppose that makes farmland that grows food rather important.

What else would people today consider the necessities of life? I could be silly and say it seems we have added smart phones and high-speed internet, tattoos, and premium cable TV, health care and free college education, (who knew you would not have to pay back those student loans) as things we consider bare necessities.

I could also add a mancave filled with toys of all kinds. let’s not forget the whole-house generator, we could perish if we lost electricity for more than 2 minutes.

If I were to make an inventory of the subdivisions being built and existing among the fringe or our rural urban interface, I would likely find homes with many more bedrooms and bathrooms than residents. I suspect the closets and dressers would be filled with many expensive clothes and what I would probably consider an excessive number of shoes.

I suspect the kitchen and pantry would also be stocked well enough to feed a small army.

Is it possible that someday our thirst for, and our desire for material possessions will infringe on our basic need for food? To me, that seems like the most logical reason the non-farm public would support a farmland preservation program.

More than once I have read about the importance of life’s experiences being more rewarding than possessions. Is it possible we have become so blinded to obtain as many material possessions as possible that we could never appreciate the experience of having local farmland in our communities? I cannot say I know the answer to that question.

Please, do not be shy; I would love to know what others think.






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