These days, we’ve lost the farm labor. Trouble is that we’ve also lost the need for that labor to work in factories making stuff. That job, as we all know, is today left to people in other countries. Meanwhile, the family farm has become largely a quaint memory and what farmers we have left, if you talk to them, speak of the difficulties they have in competing today. The pressure is tremendous, and farms fail every day as food production continues to be consolidated in fewer hands.
Wendell Berry described this product elegantly in writing that the chief proficiency of American farm experts is their ability to take a solution and neatly divide it into two problems. That is, the Butzes of the world took the American system of farms, a hallmark of the nation since its early days, and turned it into a living assembly line that at the end of it spits out boxes of Hamburger Helper and Ramen noodles. We now no longer have much work for people in the agriculture sector, and we’re also a people that have become grotesquely obese from eating so much unhealthy food.
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