I appreciated Austin Allred’s thoughtful essay about his family dairy farm. I sincerely wish him well. As someone whose family farmed during the farm crisis and grain embargo in the 1980s, I have some understanding of how much of an uphill battle it is to make a living as a farmer.
But the reality is that the climate is changing, and that conventional agricultural practices must change as well or more family farmers will not be able to continue. We already are seeing the devastating effects of extreme weather on farm production and income.
Nobody loves the land or livestock more than family farmers. Family farming is not a job — it truly is a way of life. I urge farmers to move to climate-smart agriculture like regenerative and sustainable agricultural practices, and to support agricultural policies that reward climate-friendly farmers so that their children will have a bright future in farming and the rest of us will be able to support them through the food we eat.
Sheri Jacobson, Kent