Farmers do what they do because they love the job, but that doesn’t mean it’s not difficult. Sometimes, it can seem like an uphill battle to stay on top of markets, volatility, and weather, all in addition to daily tasks. Not to mention, this is increasingly while facing questions about the sustainability, safety, or necessity of the foods we produce.
I was reminded of this while reading about some farmer protests a few weeks ago. After a national report presented that biodiversity across the country had fallen, these producers felt that they had been unfairly singled out as the sole culprit of the problem. Many drove tractors to their cities to meet with government officials, and they worked to raise awareness about the care taken by farmers to preserve their land and the life on it.
The pictures were quite a scene, but don’t worry if you missed it. This happened in Germany.
Why does it matter what happens in Germany? This event gives us some valuable perspective that Americans are not alone in the challenges we face as agriculturalists. Animal agriculture, in particular, can unfortunately come under attack from some vegetarians or vegans around the world (in a 2018 list of the most vegan-friendly countries, six other nations outranked the U.S.).
But hold on; let’s keep looking at the big picture.
We know that agriculture works to feed more than 7 billion people each day, in every country on the planet. We know that our sustainability story is one worth telling. And we must remember that we have many, many more supporters than questioners — in the form of people who appreciate that they have access to food that is safe and affordable.
In fact, in the face of food shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, professionals from 75 organizations around the world joined together to present a letter supporting the need for animal agriculture more than ever right now.
We are not alone.
This is not at all to say that agriculture is perfect or that no one should push for better practices and technologies. Innovation is the reason food production is so advanced today. With continued support, agriculture around the world will keep improving.
Katelyn Allen joined the Hoard’s Dairyman team as the Publications Editor in August 2019. She manages the development, editing, and marketing of the variety of resources offered through the Hoard’s Dairyman Bookstore. Katelyn is a 2019 graduate of Virginia Tech, where she majored in dairy science and minored in communication. Katelyn grew up on her family’s registered Holstein dairy, Glen-Toctin Farm, in Jefferson, Md.