In the end how much does an investment banker’s work really contribute to my quality of life? Nada, nothing. Same goes for a real estate developer’s work, a sports champion’s work (some people may disagree, but I believe certain professional athletes are vastly overpaid for what they do), and many other overpaid and overvalued jobs that we have come to admire simply because they earn lots of money.
Instead, I’d like to sing a song for our unsung heroes, the farmers. They are generally underpaid and overworked for the long hours they work and the incredible risks they have to take year after year. Yet without them, we are nothing, not even alive. “No farms, no food,” as the bumper sticker goes. Weather conditions are a real gamble and a constant source of worry for farmers. Wet or dry summers mean less money. And what about several-year droughts? What about the difficult decisions between new technologies and true sustainability? The question of whether bigger is better? Farmers simply don’t get credited or appreciated for the importance of their work.
Many pioneering young farmers do this job out of conviction and passion for a better world, and unfortunately, have to work for a pittance. The government should be giving away farmland to willing and qualified farmers to encourage farming in areas with a sustainable climate (certainly not out west). Why not subsidize small farms, sustainable farms, organic farms, new farmers? That would acknowledge the value of the farmers’ life-sustaining function. We ought to thank our farmers, we ought to celebrate them, we need to support them.