Minnesota Farmer


Do you want the real story?

Do you want the real story, or will you believe the “shocking” news of some entertainer?  I’ve seen it so many times, a TV celebrity makes a statement or brings on a guest who makes a statement, that is totally at odds with the truth, and people actually believe it.  When they make those comments about what we do here on the farm it can really hurt.  I’m proud to tell you that a broad array of farm folks are stepping up to tell the real story.  Among my favorites are the ladies at “Finding our Common Ground.”  These young mothers are telling about what happens on the farm in a way that other young professional women can believe.  One that came across my facebook feed today is about GMO’s. (http://findourcommonground.com/food-facts/corporate-farms/)

I’ve also watched the Peterson Brother do their thing in song parody that both entertains and informs.  These young men and their sister are entertaining and informative. Check out one of their videos at

I’m Farming and I Grow It (Parody Song) – YouTube

Today a really good video came to my computer from Midwest Dairy producers that is one of the best I have ever seen.

Feeding‘ A Nation (Parody Song)

These are only a few of the many good efforts being made by agriculture today.  The truth is that we few are a misunderstood group.  What we do is shrouded in mystery because what we do is often hard, dirty work.  Work that is rewarding in ways that many city jobs are not, but often so hard that many of our ancestors left the farm for the easier life in cities.529984_495798610485209_1247879837_nNot only hard, but today very costly.  It is harder and harder to get into farming without lots of money.  For most of my life I struggled to make a living and feed my family on a farmers income.  Because I was able to work with my dad I was able to keep going and now, 40 years later, can feel good about the life I live and the income I make.  Today land and machinery prices are even higher and I wonder how the next generation will be able to farm.

My life is not “shocking,” but it is complex.  We do things on the farm today in new ways because we have a heavier burden on our shoulders.  When I started farming the average farmer fed 26 people, today he feeds 155.  98% of the farms are still family owned and account for 85% of the food you eat. In the last 100 years the average farm size has gone from 140 acres to about 500.  Of interest is that there are now more farms today that there were 10 years ago, not hobby farms, but farms that are actually viable, $500,000 per farm gross profit farms.

So the next time someone tries to tell you how things really are on the farm, check out their bonafides.  Do they really know what goes on on the farm, or are they telling you “shocking” story to get you to buy their book.  You all are invited to check out the many farm stories that are now on the internet, and I know any one of us would love to hear from you.  We’ll tell you what really happens down on the farm.

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