Hemp will not save the American farmer, unless all crops are taken into consideration. The trends in legislation have been alarming and it is getting worse, now we are confronted with the 2018 Farm Bill, where things will most likely get harder for people in the United States of America. Chipping away at an iceberg over the last 50 years has left us with only one ice cube and it is melting fast.
American War Veterans as a whole are commiting suicide at about 22 per day. Even worse is that American people working on farms, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters, are commiting suicide at a rate of two and a half times more, at about 55 per day. This number is most likely an underestimate, because many are disguised as farm accidents. People working in agriculture are statistically more likely to commit suicide than any other group in the United States today.
For perspective the next occupations most at risk are construction, extraction (such as petroleum), installation, maintenance and repair workers, who commit suicide at about 31 people per day.
There are demands in all of life that nature doesn’t let you forget and for the farmer is includes the season, bad weather and other natural factors, but in addition they are burdened with mountains of paperwork and regulations which interfere with an already full day, a full life. The existing system definitely forces many farmers into an economic and/or emotional hole that they can’t get out of without losing the farm, their family and their health.
Exorbitant taxes, the money to pay for labor, money to pay for the seed or feed, the chemical fertilizers or inoculations are only part of what it take to run a farm today. Farmers can hope for the best, but if a big catastrophe hits you, such as in a normal life, a divorce, personal health issues, the loss of a crop or other life circumstances, can be the trigger to a cascading colapse and the loss of a farm, what happens to be all of the family, non corporate farms.
The income levels on farms have hit their lowest point since 1985. From 2014 to 2015, farm income dropped 95% and farm debt levels have increased by 25%. An alarming example that helps demonstrate this is the price of wheat has dropped 55% since 2013.
Yet, the farmers are still spending money and more money on the same mechanial and chemical inputs. Never forget that you are more valuable than the sum of your debts, but this solves nothing in the relationship with a bank.
When a farmer’s natural instincts are disrupted by unnatural factors, such as external economic pressures, the situation can only get worse. Farmers are not getting the returns they need to be sustainable. High health insurance costs and many of the regulations are a detriment to an average farm. Farming has always been a life challenge due to weather and other natural factors, but mountains of paperwork is a relatively new factor in the span of over 10,000 years of agriculture.
There are so called “solutions” to medicate the farmers with SSRI’s, which can slow down or prevent a person from getting severly depressed, but is in no way addressing the foundation of their problems. Some suggest that a farmers’ exposure to pesticides is affecting their neurological system and is contributing to their depressive symptoms, but this just exacerbates the burden of existing issues and is not a primary cause. Many are overwhelmed by the large debt which some may say is typical for a farm operation. This is anything but typical and it has a cause of forced manipulation using regulatory and corporate tools of control.
Some help is available, but only midstream, so far nothing has addressed the foundation of the problem. Services such as financial counseling and legal assistance and mediation services between the lenders and farms are available, but this just prolongs the hardships and eventual failure of a farm. These steps may help a farmer to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but they may never actually get to the end.
There have been attempts by the farmers to bring attention to these issues, such as the 1978 and 1979 Tractorcade protest in Washington, D.C. by the American Agriculture Movement. This was an attempt to create economic relationships with a bushel of wheat for a barrel of oil. In this protest four farmers were arrested and a goat, a bushel of grain and an oil barrel were tossed over the White House fence. The protest failed and the police have since banned farm tractor parades.
Many are calling the Fam Bill a betrayal to rural families, but when we look at the larger impacts in the country, people nationwide and right here at home are the ones who are suffering, and will get worse.
The quality of food in the United States of America has been on a downward spiral for many years and many are worried the bill will force Americans to go hungry even faster. For example another control mechanism is that individuals who choose not to participate in the work training program will not be eligible for nutrition assistance, but not all people are young enough or physically able to work any more. Some of these changes are not addressing the root of the problem and only look at an intermediate fix to issues. In this case it is easy for the opposition to say “What, are you lazy? You don’t deserve to have free food if you do not contribute to the system.” We are about to see another spike in food insecurity in this country.
Woman and children will be affected, as well as the elderly, people in rural areas and our military veterans. The authoritarian work requirements have no connection to reality and people already lack access to transportation. This is a collapsing house of cards and someone is trying to put an elephant on top of it.
We are seeing terms such as “New Food Economy and Codex Alimentarius,” as well as other references to a top down control systems. There is clear evidence that the commercial chemical food system does not and can not provide more food than nature, but it does demonstrate that it can be used to manipulate people and cultures. Many of the fixes have no regard to the facts that force people into the desperate need of help.
American farming is being sacrificed for economic gains of big corporations, a sacrifice of our people.