The Problem Of Farmers Face By Bren Smith Essay

The Problem Of Farmers Face By Bren Smith Essay

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As more attention has shifted to food over the past decade, both physical and financial focus has been directed towards allowing more people access to food from local farms. Farmers markets and other similar ideas have greatly expanded their reach as a result, connecting more people with their local farms than ever before. With the writing of “Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Farmers”, Bren Smith addresses the problems that farmers face. As a shellfish and seaweed farmer on Long Island Sound, Smith is able to demonstrate the struggles that many farmers face and proposes obtainable solutions to them. Smith argues that farmer organization, change in agriculture policy, and a public awareness of the perspective of farmers are all required to reverse the, “core economic inequalities and contradictions embedded in our food system” (10.2).
Writing to the farmers with the first argument, Smith writes about how essential it is for the farmers to fight together to “shape our (the farmer’s) own agenda” (12.3) and fight against large agricultural corporations. The need for this is first presented to farmers when Smith quotes the 2012 Forbes investment guide as saying that, “now is the time to ‘farm like a billionaire’ “ (6.4) because of the tax breaks that it gives them. When showing that the profession is used by some as a tool to evade taxes, Smith draws on the emotions of both the farmers that cannot afford to compete and those that take pride in their profession. The idea that farming is about more than just money and that is should stay that way is used by Smith to drive and unite farmers together. This point is emphasized by the Department of Agriculture statistic that states the median farmer income in 2012 was negative ...


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...ot necessarily be recognized. With a lack of recognition of opposition and different perspective, Smith elects to write to the readers they believe to be under informed. This is evident with how the arguments made are unrelenting, and no alternative ideas are provided. Although there would almost surely be opposition against ideas such as moving subsidy money to different farms, the opposition to this is not acknowledged. Playing off of all of the previous arguments along with introducing a new one that suggests at oppression, Smith concludes by stating that a, “new food economy that ensures growing good food also means making a good living” (14.1) is necessary, and will be formed by establishing a new system. This is placed at the end to be the takeaway of the reader, so that they feel that the establishment of a new system is paramount to the well being of farmers.

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