This is one of my favorite treatises of all time. It was written in the early 2000's by a group of young farmers in Schoharie County, NY. They were determined to forge a livelihood by revitalizing an agricultural region that had been losing small family farms for decades. With this hopeful vision they mapped a collective goal that they could work on together.
A Vision For Agriculture
We All win, and agriculture will become a viable option in our county. Lots of young people will go into farming, and farming will become a valued profession. It will be a profitable and preferred way of life.
The whole family will make a good living on the family farm. Guidance counselors will recommend farming because it is economically viable, and desirable.
There will be continued family farm transfers because family farms will prosper. Ag and Tech will be the school of choice, and physical labor will become "hip" again.
There will be an appreciation of the deeper values of our land and our community.
Our children will not have to leave. People will be content to stay. Young people will get involved, and there will be an increase in community stability.
Our rural life will be enhanced.
We will maintain our emotional and physical health, build stronger families and better futures.
We will have better control of our destinies. There will be increased opportunities to manage, and we will become a model for other communities. There will be community respect and better community spirit.
We will work together. There will be compromise and cooperation among different agencies.
We will understand our needs and the needs of others.
We will be more politically involved. There will be better local planning and agriculture will be involved on boards. We will join existing organizations or form new ones.
I have admired this piece since it's introduction. I think it should end with an Amen!, it sounds more like a prayer than a declaration. When I was a child there were probably 20 maple producers in and around the town of Jefferson, most of them were associated with a family dairy farm. Names like Nichols, Hubbell, Zea, Dayton, Churchill, Palmer, Putnam, Clark, Moore, Hait, Wilson, and Payne. By the late 70's most of these were gone but the dream has never died.
Posted on Wed, April 15, 2015
by Sharon Collins