Here’s a few fun facts for you (according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture):
– Between 2007 & 2013, the amount of land in farms in the United States declined from 922 million acres to 915 million acres.
– In 2012, the average farm size was 434 acres.
– From 2007 to 2012, the percent of farms with sales and government payments of $1 million or more increased, but most farms in the United States are small- 75 percent had sales of less than $50,000 in 2012.
– In 2012, the average age of principal farm operators was 58.3 years, up 1.2 years since 2007, and continuing a 30-year trend of steady increase. Only 6% of principal farm operators are under 35 years old.
Lately, there has been a lot of negative talk about “factory farms.” Our culture has such a huge disconnect from their food source and a small number of very vocal people are making a fuss about these farms. The truth is, 98% of farms are owned and operated by families. My husband and brother-in-law are business partners, operators, and the owners of our farm. We work along with their parents as the forth generation on the very same land. While the next generation hasn’t been born yet, I know we all hope they will also have the opportunity to farm if that’s their dream.
(This is a picture of Colby and his siblings and father from the 90’s. We still farm this same land.)
Perhaps you have seen this meme put out by the Organic Consumers Association and you’ve heard that independent journalist Will Potter headed a Kickstarter fundraiser to launch drones to expose factory farms in which he raised his $30 000 goal in five days and he’s currently petitioning for more money for an increased goal of $95 000. His motivation is to show what factory farms are hiding with ag-gag laws by flying overhead with drones to capture images and do investigative reporting. How would you like to be spied on where you work, or more importantly on your land and at your home?
Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer & The Farmer’s Wifee have challenged advocates and farmers to post pictures of their farms. They have started a campaign to share the truth behind the aerial photos, the truth behind the farms, the truth in which shows almost all farms in fact are family farms. You want the truth, just ask the farmers. We have nothing to hide. So I ask you this, is our farm a “family farm” or a “factory farm”. You can decide for yourself.
Join us! Share your blog posts, photos, etc. Make sure to use the hash tag, #MyFamilyFarm and #FactoryFarm to get the view from there too.