Three Lakes

A blog for members and friends of Three Lakes Neighbors for Responsible Growth, dedicated to monitoring and maintaining the rural environment of central Snohomish County, Washington

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daily Kos: ACTION: Help Obama Win an Impossible Fight

I posted the following comment in response to the referenced blog post on Daily KOS blog. It’s very clear to me that we need to end our current agricultural support system that makes big payments to large agribusinesses and leaves the small farmers and ranchers out to dry (or to have a day job to support themselves. We also need to switch to a more sustainable system of agriculture.

When my grandmother was named Eminent Farm Homemaker of 1936 in South Dakota, one of paragraphs in the Citation starts [they] "are the greatly loved parents of 7 children, all of them true to agricultural interests and in some way connected with agricultural life." My father was an agronomist and worked for the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

Of my generation, I believe that my sister was the only one who returned to the middle part of the country after college and farmed for many years (but when my nephew was ready for school they moved to town and commuted back to the farm). Most of us went into engineering and other professions and stayed on the coasts. Now that I've retired from my engineering job I've gotten more involved in agriculture via our small aromatherapy and essential oil business and my participation in the aromaconnection blog.

I've recently become acquainted with some of my cousin's children on Facebook and I don't think any of them are engaged in farming or agricultural pursuits. Several years ago, I left the city and moved to 4 acres in a (sort of) rural area. But of the 200 or so residents of our rural community, there are only two agricultural related businesses--a blueberry farm and a (now-inactive) horse training arena. Most of us who are not retired as I am commute to the city to make a living. We spend much of our local activism fighting off the developments that are trying to move into the neighborhood. Although Washington state has fairly strong Agricultural land protection, there is still a lot of encroachment and many rural residents are very upset at attempts to protect the rural atmosphere and the farming activities because they want to eventually cash in on the "development" value of their property.

We've got to expand our efforts beyond that to reform our agricultural system and get back to a sustainable economy and ecology.

I'm sure my grandmother (who died over 60 years ago) would be appalled to see where we have gotten to.

Daily Kos: ACTION: Help Obama Win an Impossible Fight

Now that I’m looking this over, I realize that the tree farm at to north end of Panther Lake Road is also an agricultural business. But the owner doesn’t live here. . .

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