By Colby Malsbury
If print media is going the way of the dodo bird, agricultural newspapers and magazines are especially down to one or two specimens still known to exist. Should you chance to pick one up, though, you will find one ubiquitous feature: a puff piece of an article (almost guaranteed to be written by a young woman) featuring some variation on ‘Raising beef/pork/chickens/dairy/grain/etc is incredibly hard work….but sooooo totally worth it!!!!‘ A representative sample of such can be found here.
The vast majority of farmers would take serious umbrage with this statement – certainly not with the incredibly hard work involved, but with how worthwhile it all is anymore.
I know I should admire the spunk and fortitude displayed by these articles. Perhaps in my younger and less cynical years I would have. These days, though, I read such and can only think that some editor on a dying paper decided that a little bit more faux-cheerful Pollyannaish pepper (with a decided undertone of perceptible desperation, besides) might bring in a handful of renewals. It certainly won’t do diddly squat to alleviate the now-permanent despair gripping the entire North American agricultural sector. Ever tried to pay a bill with heartfelt convictions? Trust me: it doesn’t work.
Of course, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the entire agricultural sector of the West has been in a terminal state for decades now. Thanks in large part to the systemic decimation of the American independent dairy sector, the general plight has recently received passing notice from the mainstream media, which tends to alternate hard-luck stories of financial armageddon that shed mucho crocodile tears with sympathetic coverage of the synthetic plastic almost-food ‘progressive’ replacements that have made the agricultural genocide possible, and profitable to boot. How do consumers react? With an intelligible ‘Mflrg’ and another trip to Wal-Mart, burning twenty five dollars’ worth of gasoline to buy two three-dollar bags of GMO corn chips, and nothing else.
And therein lies the fatal problem. A market is only as solid and reliable as its clientele. Farmers have long been inured to receiving the shaft from on high, under whatever centralized guvmint authoriTEH they are languishing under. That in itself is not an impossible obstacle – the wise steward of the land has always been able to outfox the foxes in due course of time. When you combine that with a population of self-destructive dunces who can’t think further out than the next hour, though, you are left with a societal vise there is no escaping from. And this vise has some serious torque behind it, to boot.
All sectors of the agricultural sector – past, perhaps, those two staples of the current year diet corn and soy1 – are in the same predicament, but as I am a beef cattle producer I will be speaking primarily from that viewpoint.
Let us begin by looking at what the beef producer has to deal with from the top. Or, rather, what producers of all meats have to deal with, as there can be little doubt that there is an organized push on – from international governments, NGOs, and corporations alike – to promote a militantly vegetarian agenda upon our children. The justifications for such are myriad and seemingly shift in priority from day to day – ecological sustainability, economic viability, animal rights, and what have you. The latter excuse is especially egregious, as the fault over the undeniably foul practices that permeate the industrial ‘factory farm’ process are transferred from the gigantic malefactors to the individual rancher, who stays solvent by keeping his charges’ best interests at heart. But then, crap runs downhill, and the likes of Tyson and JBS are situated well enough that they can easily set up shop in another agricultural racket should their particular specialties wither on the vine. (I hear marijuana is very popular these days.) Rumors are floating that the as-yet-unannounced agenda for Bilderberg 2019 will include an anti-meat panel discussion, but I have not been able to confirm such as yet. Rest assured, though: whatever consensus is agreed upon by that coven of technocrats from Tartarus will be implemented. If you absolutely must have your protein fix, though, not to worry! Our overlords have come up with a ‘reasonable’ alternative: promoting a diet of insects and grubs, just like the denizens of Africa and the Indian subcontinent have subsisted on for centuries! The beautiful part of this plan is that if you resist digging into a nice maggoty casserole, you can automatically be branded a racist, too! Not to worry, though – (((they))) will always have access to the finest porterhouse steaks whenever the fancy takes them – it just won’t be you that’s providing them and making a living off the proceeds, White Exploitative Farmer. ‘Bugs for thee, but not for me’ is destined to become another one of those ironclad unwritten rules that makes living under the suzerainty of the Tribe such a delight.
Insulting and patronizing as such ‘solutions’ are, though, I suppose I should give them the tiniest benefit of the doubt for attempting a veneer of practicality, hare-brained and white-loathing as they still are. That’s a lot more than I can say in regards to the cultural Marxists’ insistence on holding agriculture to the same standards as they do every other component of civilization, that the Greatest Sociological Experiment Ever can continue apace. Case in point: census snoops at the Department of Agriculture were appalled to discover that American farmers still largely consisted of, and I quote the linked article heading, ‘old white people’ rather than the kaleidoscopic spectrum of vigorous diversity they were apparently expecting to find. Implicit in their incredulity, of course, is an undercurrent of harrumph that this situation is ‘intolerable’ and ‘must change’, and that always bodes well. When is the last time any of these knobs ever left their desk and ventured out into the field? Did they really believe there are hordes of Hindu Indians out there operating beef ranches, Muslim Arabs operating pig barns, Haitian practitioners of Voodoo operating chicken farms, and cosmopolitan Jews operating anything that relies on the soil? It’s touching that these pimps for panhumanism believe that they can render their own preferred zeitgeist incarnate via the force of their own will, but that only works within the confines of Das Kapital, and not in God’s realm.
So yep, the upper echelons loathe farmers and desire their demise – in accordance with the Talmudic injunction that agriculture is the meanest form of occupation. (Yevamos 63a, if you’re curious.) What about the vox populi, though? Sure, the proles might be as dumb as a box of doorknobs, but they’ve still gotta eat, right?
Well, yeah….but your typical walking bag of uselessness these days seems perfectly willing and able to subsist on empty caloric quantity rather than on a rich dietary quality. And the emphasis there is definitely on ‘willing’. Let us return to my beef perspective. How many people do you know who regularly purchase entire roasts to cook for the family’s Sunday dinner anymore? Who eat steak on a more regular basis than one or two long weekends in the summer per year? Who even bother making stews? There aren’t bloody many. Certainly, in these post-economic times, financial burdens play a large role in making this the case, and I do not wish to make light of that at all. But as more and more people come to believe that food doesn’t even come from a grocery store, but resides in a mysterious zone located on the other end of their smartphones, to be summoned up at will by hitting the ol’ speed-dial and ordering a cheap repast to be delivered to the humble abode posthaste, I question whether the skill-set to properly prepare a choice cut of bovine is close to extinction among our people. The only beef product still consumed on a regular basis is hamburger, and sorry to say, but the dollars and cents of pasturing a cow – not the most efficient animal at the best of times – so that her calves can be ultimately ground up into the cheapest cut of meat there is just don’t pencil in. If hamburger is what everyone’s after, that can easily be replicated with the obsequious soy. Sure, it might taste disgusting to someone who is used to a diet of the real thing, but how is a kid who has been weaned from birth on the stuff supposed to tell the difference? The opinion makers and their marketing gurus have even come up with a funky Brave New World-esque term to describe this culinary concoction: ‘beyond meat’, designed to make the chewer of such believe he has entered a space age of social consciousness, and is eating the equivalent of Tang powdered orange juice. Foreign exports of our beef? Another once-lucrative option rapidly on the wane. The biggest market for such is China and the rest of the Orient. Even as neo-liberal internationalists optimistically herald the end of ‘protectionism’ across the world as we know it, these free-trade parvenus overlook one teeny little fact: these are a people who have never had beef as a primary staple of their diet, ever. Sure, with a few dollars to spend they’re more than happy to try out some of this exotic grass-fed succulence they’ve heard so much about, but the first time they get a tough strip loin they’ll say that’s enough of that and go back to their inured preference for chicken and pork, which they can produce in ample quantity themselves. Any beef for their restaurants can be more easily and cheaply purchased from the likes of Australia. A few big boys on these shores might still be able to tap into that market with their leverage, but you and I ain’t big boys, and never will be. Thus, the beef producer is faced with systemic apathy at home and systemic fickleness abroad. Neither one adds up to a sustainable economic model for him.
Whether in beef, pork, poultry, grains, pulse, truck, or other, all farmers in North America are facing these same death knells – all codified into official policy by the heinous precepts of Agenda 21 (which is supposedly ‘non-binding’, ha ha ha!!!) to ensure that the despair felt is total and inescapable. Many a farmer has believed that a way out of this morass can be achieved by going organic. If a reliable customer base is developed, that can seem to work for a while – higher margins, personable relations with your clients that keep them coming back for more – but then the caveats start to appear. In particular, the benevolent hand of Zog drops in with his catalogue of organic regulations, giving him full right to inspect your premises on a whim and full power to revoke your certification should you do something dastardly like allow your neighbor’s herbicide that he is spraying on his crop five miles away to drift over your place due to an inclement wind. And make no mistake: this power is used often. The tender mercies of Child Protective Services towards Christian families serves as the USDA’s guidebook for their own legion of jackboots. On the consumer end of things: while you are dealing with a customer base that is willing to pay more for top-quality food, at the same time this magnanimity comes with a streak of pickiness that is comparable to China’s nascent beef-eaters. It doesn’t take much aberration in the retailed product at all for many of these folks to pick up stakes and look for another ‘long-term relationship’ with a different farmer – and anyone in the ag biz will tell you that raw food cannot be standardized the way a machine shop producing the exact same widgets over and over can.
Add to this elitist/rabble pincer movement a plethora of other variables – not in the least the increasingly erratic weather patterns of North America, which bear all the hallmarks of geoengineering and thus cannot be equated with any form of sustainability in any form – and you have about as grim a picture of agriculture that has ever been painted in the West. Paul tells us that ‘the husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.’ (2 Tim. 2:6). What are we to say of a system that denies the husbandman so much as a smidgen of ‘his’ fatted calf, let alone the firstfruits? Only that such a system would attempt the same usurpation of all that is properly within God’s realm.
Band-aids, lobbying, ‘awareness’ campaigns, outreach programs, and assorted other bric-brac are not going to do a blessed thing to reverse this trend. For Christian agriculture to survive and ultimately thrive, four things are required on our part:
- Repentance. Our Enemies and our tribulations did not appear out of a vacuum. They are part and parcel of the great judgment God has set against us for our shunning Him in favor of our Enlightenment-influenced confidence in our own rationalism, tinged with a pantheistic Romantic idealism to make our whole worldview especially odious. Agriculture has been every bit as prone to this deceit as anything else in the post-Christian West. Until we eschew our own measure utterly and cleave to His, we can only expect to continue to ‘sow (our) seed in vain, for (our) enemies shall eat it’ (Lev. 26:16). The ever-increasing acreage of US farmland owned by foreigners gives sobering testimony to this fact.
- Regaining our covenental purpose. Since at least the end of WWII, western agriculture has made ‘efficiency in scale’ an end unto itself, that the whole world might be fed by our breadbasket. Pardon me for being racist, but who exactly decreed that that was to be our job? We have plenty of our own back home who need tending to in theological as well as physical need, and until that becomes our priority, we can count on our fields remaining barren. The heathen are notoriously ungrateful towards misguided humanist philanthropy directed their way. Of course, the reclamation of such a purpose directly leads to…
- Raising large families. Funny thing about farming: it’s one of the few callings that actively encourages the siring of a sizable brood. After all, feeding them never becomes an issue, and there’s always enough work around that a few more hands to pitch in is always a blessing. A child who is farm-reared also comes very quickly to realize the necessity of providential protection from an outside Agency and how his own will must be subverted to Him – one good long stretch of drought can stand as a sufficient example of such. Plus, such children, being necessarily schooled in practical and useful matters as a means of survival, will put the fear of God into any government monolith considering encroaching upon his turf. Want to reclaim the culture? This is how it comes about.
- Make agriculture an integral component of a national defence policy. Food is not a disposable commodity to be consumed or not on a whim, like purses or fidget spinners. It is every bit the strategic resource that oil or gold is. Why does neo-liberalism refuse to treat it as such? Prior to the 18th century, our ancestors never made that mistake. I’m certainly not advocating that DC set up a National Grain Preserve or anything so inimical to our interests, but in the wake of a Roman-style collapse of the Empire, let us rebuild a theonomy out of the ashes that does not repeat the errors of the recent past. Security of native food supplies as a national endeavor equates to security of tenure for farmers, and the bounty that Christian agrarianism promises to bring forth can then be enjoyed by our own.
Once that occurs – and only when that occurs – can the optimism penned by youthful farm kids for agricultural journals be justified.