The cruelty behind the treatment of our farmers
“Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own” — Samuel Johnson
By: Gladys Andrea Gomez
The society we live in doesn’t take the time to appreciate what farmers and farms do for us. We live off of farms who produce our food, but do we appreciate them? Or think about where we get our food from? How does it get to the grocery, where we buy food from? Have you ever asked yourselves, who are the ones that bring food to our mouths? The ones that take their time to care for your veggies and fruits. We don’t acknowledge the fact that these hard workers are the ones that provide for us and the ones the essentially feed us. These hard workers are farmers.
We do not know how bad they have it. All we know is that they are the ones that have to be literally working with their hands to make sure all crops are properly growing. But have we ever stopped to wonder how they are being portrayed? How they are being treated?
Small farmers are the ones that are being targeted the most. It is because bigger farms and corporations are taking over small farms. Family owned farms or small farmers cannot afford to have a big farm, therefore it is easier for corporations to take over these family owned farms.
“Most of the smaller farms are ‘hobby’ farms with significant sources of off-farm income.They are large in number but have very small output.”
Family owned farms are not making enough food to sell off to bigger corporations resulting in a decreased income, where no one can live off of. It is better said, that they are better off if they do not operate their farm, for they are loosing more than they are gaining.
Thought time family owned farms have been decreasing dramatically. The picture above clearly shows how farms have been decreasing over a period of five years. Not only that, but in other countries farmers are also having this same problem. In India many farms were shut down because they were being taxed very high taxes and they no longer were able to afford having a farms and caring for their families.
“ both smaller landowners … sank into debt. As time went on they relied more and more heavily on their valuable crops, especially rice and wheat, to pay off interest and other dues, and the acreage under these crops increased”.
Mainly all of the farmers had lost all of the things they had because of this high tax. People were literally homeless. In the united states, farmers were also deprived from their rights. Some family owned farms were even broken in illegally to get documents stolen from them to use them against the farmers. A farmer, Daniel Allgyer — who has a small farm — had a few FDA agents at her door steps, in which they conducted an illegal search. As a result his farm had to be shut down. A more surprising case was that from the Stowers family,
“ For the Stowers family of Manna Storehouse, it meant being terrorized by a SWAT team that held the family hostage while stealing their private files and other documents”
Other families have had the same or worse things happen to them. The central valley crisis was the worse. Not only did it affect many illegal farmers, but it is still affecting many more.
More than half of the people that live in the central valley are latinos and are illegal immigrants. They do not have the same rights as legal people living in the united states, causing them to be forgotten and only used for their work on the fields. They are not protected by any sort of law or by anything.
The pesticides that are being used to produce many of the crops are exposed to not only crops, but humans. Humans are exposed to all these pesticides, which causes many illness in the bloodstream, and other diseases such as cancer, brain damage, and even reproductive problems. Farmers cannot do anything to change this law, for they fear being sent back to their country of origin. Politicians know that this is happening, yet they do nothing to stop this or to help prevent this future reoccurrence.
Not only should big corporations be helped, but these family owned farms should be helped as well. They are the ones that are also providing for us, but no one does anything to protect their rights or to stop anything from happening to them. There are many things that we can do to prevent this. Boycotting may not be most ideal, because if we boycott a certain store that get food from these corporations then we will have nothing to eat. The best thing to do for these farmers is help them by sending letters to senators, explaining our concerns about their health benefits and farmers rights.