It’s amazing to me that some humans think they can outsmart nature. Really? Sure we have sent rockets to the moon, cured disease, built the great wall of China and the Pyramids of Giza. But when it comes to our ignorance about nature, that is one our “greatest” feats. Make no doubt about it, we, as humans are incredibly smart. However, we need to realize how and where our basic needs are met.
There are many reasons for this ignorance of nature, but no one can place the blame on any one thing. Well… they can and do place the blame, but in reality the situation is more complicated. People like to find victims and villains for such circumstances. “Well, the school children in this neighborhood never go outside so they are at a disadvantage.” Or, “TV is to blame, everyone is watching too much TV!” But in reality the only thing people can blame is themselves. There are people in the world that are extremely wealthy right now and earned everything they have. Did they have some “advantage?” No. They worked for it.
So what does this have to do with nature? Everything. Understanding nature can only be done by applying energy into thinking about and observing nature. Is it any surprise that people don’t even know what a sheep or goat look like? Is it surprising that people are unaware of the fact that you can keep destroying the very thing that keeps you alive (the earth)? None of this crap surprises me anymore.
So, as farmers and ranchers is it our “job” to educate people? Sure, those that will listen. “You can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” right? Exactly. I’ve given up on trying to enlighten as many people as possible that there is a better way to do things. Your reading this blog post because you want to be. I didn’t have to convince or manipulate or pay you to come here. The same should go for educating people about sustainable agriculture. No matter how hard we try we will never, ever, in a million years convince everyone that they need to stop destroying the earth with unsustainable farming/ranching practices. Once you realize that, there is a huge weight off of your shoulders. It’s not as simple as not driving cars anymore, as some have lead us to believe.
There will be a huge opportunity over the next 20 years for people like us. Crop farmers and conventional ranchers are destroying their livelihood without even knowing it. When the free money (subsidies AKA welfare) goes away, and real hard assets are the only things that have value, we will be in a position to take advantage of these opportunities.
While we should try to help those that are willing to listen, understand that we can’t help everyone. I’m not trying to be selfish or egotistical, it’s just a fact. If the current conventional farmers and ranchers can’t make a change and adapt they deserve to go out of business. I don’t care if their family has farmed/ranched the land for five generations. Someone who is responsible needs to take over that piece of property and ensure the health of that land and community for generations to come.
The new farmers/ranchers will be critical thinkers who understand that adapting is apart of life. Getting comfortable and set in your ways in one of the best ways to ensure failure. Every year is different and every situation is different. Pull up your pants and get to work.