To get the blog discussion rolling, let me pose a question to the farmers of Kansas and the rest of you.
One Japanese farmer I once spoke with compared his job farming to gardening, although he was a full-time farmer growing vegetables within Kyoto for sale to local residents mostly. I think he meant that he spent a great deal of energy tending his vegetables on his plot of land that was small, but nonetheless provided him with an income comparable to a “salary man,” or company employee. It seems to me that sort of farming is completly in contrast to the farming we observe in Kansas, driving by mile after mile of fields of soybeans or corn without even a farmer in sight! I am wondering if that contrast is a symptom of what is wrong with modern agriculture and that American farmers need to adopt a similar view as that Japanese farmer. Or is that just a naieve thought, given the great differences in the structure of agriculture for large American farms and the small urban farms of Japan.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.