by Fletcher Evans:
America, the land of the free and the home of the brave was built on agriculture. Agricultural techniques taught to us by our ancestors and the people before them, are what built the way agriculture is today. With the United States being one of the largest exporters of agricultural products, our nation has to realize that family farms play a very large role in the production and cultural practices of modern day agriculture. Family farms are generally handed down from generation to generation and this is the way that they continue to flourish. These families preserve the land that was given to them and do everything in their power to make it flourish more and more with each year of planting. Farming continues to serve as an idol for strong family values, persisting through tough times, and hard work.
Over time, the family farm has been rapidly declining in numbers. In over 70 years, the amount of farms has went from 7 million to 2 million. This is a drastic amount of farms that have been wiped out. With the population of the world continuing to grow, there is going to be a very large demand for more food and fiber to feed and clothe everybody.
With the decline of the amount of farms, the farms that are going strong are very productive. Whether these family farms are very large or they are very small, 98% of family farms make up the farms that are present in the United States today. These family farms produce vast amounts of crops and goods that consumers everyday rely on to keep themselves and their family satisfied. American family farms today make up approximately 27% of the crop production in the United States. The views of farms in today’s society is that they are large factory farms that mass produce everything and are generally not the cleanest places. With this being said, over 88% of all the family farms in the United States are small family farms on small amount of land. Many family farms are viewed by their surrounding communities as “cleaner quality of life”.
The small family farm is vital to communities because they provide fresh produce to their community while also branching out into a nation wide scale. Many rural communities throughout the United States rely on local family farms to bring fresh food to their local farmers markets and for many families, this is who they trust and where they go to feed their families. While the small family farmer will provide for local markets and surrounding communities, much of the fruit, vegetable, and dairy products are all done on large family farms and can be seen around stores all over the world. An example of a very large family farm is Prairie Farms dairy products. Whether these family farms are 20 acres or 20,000 acres, they provide food and fiber to people all across the nation with dedication and pride to their products. Family farms put in countless days of hard work and hard times to ensure that they provide a quality product that they would be willing to serve to their own family.
Family farms are very important to our nation and can teach each and every one of us about the values each person should try to live by everyday. Family farms demonstrate the importance of faith, family, and friends. Generations of values are instilled into these family farms such as respect, honor, and commitment. Family farms do not rely on words to get their point across, the actions they portray on a daily basis and the product they provide to the world is proving that they believe in themselves and they believe in the good of the people. Family farms are the backbone of our great nation and they set the standard for how others should want to develop their legacy.