Top 25 Things Vanishing From America: No.1 The Family Farm

Here you will find all Top 25 Things Vanishing From America.

This series explores aspects of America that may soon be just a memory — some to be missed, some gladly left behind. From the least impactful to the most, here are 25 bits of vanishing America.

1. The Family Farm

My mother grew up on her family’s dairy farm in central Oregon, and when she was a child she was in 4-H — just like all the kids in her town. I’ve always admired her way with the “home arts” (she makes a mean jar of cucumber relish, and her embroidery festoons quilts for all my boys) so when I saw her 4-H ribbons I assumed that big purple one must have been for brownies, or jam. “Oh, that was for the pig I raised,” she said matter-of-factly.

In 1950, it wasn’t at all unusual for a bookish little girl like my mother to get a purple ribbon in pig husbandry; after all, our educational system is still organized around the principle that children need to get out to help tend the crops and raise the baby animals in the summers. But, since the 1930s, the number of family farms has been declining rapidly. According to the USDA, 5,382,162 farms dotted the nation in 1950, but this number had declined to 2,121,107 by the 2003 farm census (data from the 2007 census hasn’t yet been published). Ninety-one percent of the U.S. farms are small family farms, but the percentage of crop value produced by these farms is only 27%. Large-scale family farms (those with over $250,000 in annual sales) represented most of the farm value produced, but it’s worth noting that commercial farms make up just 1.7% of the total but 14% of the value.

The plight of the family farm has been much mourned, with many best-selling authors quoting the Farm Aid statistic that 330 farmers leave their land every week. But all is not lost; the decline in family farms has slowed since the 1970s, and due to the aforementioned bestselling authors and changing priorities of many consumers, the small family farm may very well change the tide.

That tide will have to change fast. Due to the great development boom of the 90s and early years of the millennium, and commercial agricultural practices (think: chemical fertilizers and pesticides, poor crop rotations and intensive irrigation), much land is being lost to farmers — 3,000 acres are lost to development each day according to EPA data. A bank can foreclose on a whole subdivision, but it can’t turn the land back into carrots, potatoes and lettuces.

Sarah Gilbert
Jul 20th 2008 at 11:00AM

So the No.1 vanishing thing is the family farm. I call this a very bad timing, indeed:

“Our concern is that the U.S. has nothing else in our emergency food pantry. There is no cheese, no butter, no dry milk powder, no grains or anything else left in reserve.
The only thing left in the entire CCC inventory will be 2.7 million bushels of wheat which is about enough wheat to make 1?2 of a loaf of bread for each of the 300 million people in America.”
Source: The U.S. Has No Remaining Grain Reserves

Grain farmers will need to harvest record crops every year to meet increasing global food demand and avoid famine, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. Chief Executive Officer William Doyle said.
Potash is the world’s largest maker of crop nutrients.
Source: Famines May Occur Without Record Crops This Year

What most people don’t realize is that supply chains have changed, so inventories are very short,” Mr. Rawles, a former Army intelligence officer, said. “Even if people increased their purchasing by 20%, all the store shelves would be wiped out.” Source: Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World

It is very important that you have FOOD and WATER for a long time.

You will probably think I am crazy, if I will tell you to stockpile food and water for at least 1 year, better 2 years per person. So I will tell you to stockpile food and water for as long as you think is necessary to be prepared. 🙂

Related articles (Food):
US: The Cattle Industry Is Struggling To Survive
Turkey: Drought Cuts Food Production in Half
Australia is suffering one of its worst droughts on record
Worsening Drought Threatens Australia’s “Food Bowl”
Drought devastates Iraq’s wheat crops
Floods may boost world food prices for years
Floods wipe out US crops
The Best Farmland in the U.S. Is Flooded; Most Americans Are Too Stupid to Panic
The Price Of Food: 2007 – 2008
The U.S. Has No Remaining Grain Reserves
Nine meals from anarchy – how Britain is facing a very real food crisis
Time to Stockpile Food?
Food Riots are Coming to the U.S.
UN alert: One-fourth of world’s wheat at risk from new fungus
Philippines: Food Shortage Looms – Arroyo Adviser
If the price of oil doubles, food prices will at least double
Famines May Occur Without Record Crops This Year
Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World
Could we really run out of food?

Another reason to prepare is the imminent collapse of the dollar and the financial system.

Related articles and videos (Economy):
U.S. Financial Breaking Point Soon
As faith in bank bailouts dims, losses set to deepen
US: Financial system is a house of cards
The Wall Street Journal Senses Something is Wrong
US faces global funding crisis, warns Merrill Lynch
Fed: No more bailouts, except Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Ron Paul on Fox Business News 7/16/08
Ron Paul vs. Ben Bernanke 7/16/08
US: $455,000 debt per household
US: Total Crash of the Entire Financial System Expected, Say Experts
The Dollar is doomed and the Fed will fail
More Than 300 US Banks to Fail, Says RBC Capital Markets Analyst
Are “Dark Pools” Destined to be the Capital Markets’ Next Black Hole?
Run on banks spells big trouble for US Treasury
Fannie, Freddie insolvent, Poole tells Bloomberg
Chinese Government is Top Foreign Holder of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Bonds
Foreclosures Rose 53% in June, Bank Seizures Triple
Small Banks: Billions in Troubled Construction Loans
Financial market losses could top 1,600 billion dollars: report
Dow suffers worst 1st half since ‘70
Fortis Bank Predicts US Financial Market Meltdown Within Weeks
Barclays warns of a financial storm as Federal Reserve’s credibility crumbles
Jim Rogers: Avoid The Dollar At All Costs
Ron Paul on Iran and Energy June 26, 2008
Marc Faber: ‘Misleading’ Fed Should Let Banks Fail
This recession could easily tip into a depression
Status Report on the Collapse of the U.S. Economy
8,500 U.S. banks; many will die soon

Climate change and a possible war with Iran are other reasons to stockpile food and water.

For more information on what is going on: World Situation

One more piece of information:
Nicholas (Lord) Stern, author of the Government’s Stern Review on the economics of climate change, warned that underground aquifers could run dry at the same time as melting glaciers play havoc with fresh supplies of usable water.
“The glaciers on the Himalayas are retreating, and they are the sponge that holds the water back in the rainy season. We’re facing the risk of extreme run-off, with water running straight into the Bay of Bengal and taking a lot of topsoil with it,” he said.
“A few hundred square miles of the Himalayas are the source for all the major rivers of Asia – the Ganges, the Yellow River, the Yangtze – where 3bn people live. That’s almost half the world’s population,” he said.

Stanford professor Donald Kennedy said global climate change was now setting off a self-feeding spiral. “We’ve got droughts combined with a psychotic excess of rainfall,” he said.

“There are 800m people in the world who are ‘food insecure’. They can’t grow enough food, or can’t afford to buy it. This is a seismic shift in the global economy.”
Source: Water crisis to be biggest world risk

What you can do now: Solution

People have already been told not to stockpile food by their government, so that they do not aggravate the food crisis.

But as I see it we are running out of food anyway, so I would rather choose to prepare now, than to fight with people over the crumbs, when everbody knows that there is not enough food.

Those people will be probably running around in shock and survival mode and I prefer not to meet them.

Take care
The Infinite Unknown

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.