Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I've been absent for the past couple of weeks due to personal issues, but I'm back.

I ran across a book in the library; Unfortunately I don't remember the title, which discussed the problems faced by rural farming communities. It mentioned an interdisciplinary approach, and discussed several things that I've noted, plus a few that I didn't. I've noticed that there has been a tendency over the past few decades away from small or family farms; few people can make a living from them. I've also noticed that government policies tend to favor the large or corporate farmers, while doing little for the small farmer. I wasn't aware that agricultural supplies such as fuel, fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides as well as purchases of agricultural products are largely controlled by about half a dozen large companies. I did know that small farmers are being squeezed out of business and off the land, and that small towns are going with them. I'm also aware of the continuing loss of water and soil, and pollution by herbicides, pesticies, and other agricultural waste caused by short-sighted farming practices.

I don't have answers to all these problems, but they are interconnected, which is why I'm interested in surveys of multiple areas of knowledge, so that problems like these can be fruitfully attacked.