Does the independent farmer still exist? An independent farmer is the what most would consider the owner and operator of a family farm. These farms can vary in size and product production, but they are independently owned. Tens of thousands of families in the U.S. are still running family owned farms, many doing quite well overall. Some of these farms are quite large, while others are small and simple. In 2016, the independent farmer does still exist, but how are they surviving?
Farming has become a large scale operation, but with just a few actual farms producing the majority of consumables for much of the United States. However, this does not mean the independent farmer has disappeared. It also does not mean that challenges are not right at hand for these family owned and operated farms. There is a push for consolidation and centralization in the corporate agriculture business, which makes independent farming much more difficult. After all, a centralized and corporate business can be micro managed, but an independent farmer must make ends meet through profits and hard work. This can be difficult on the smallest of farms, but medium to large farms may actually be able to make a huge profit every year.’
The key to success for the independent farmer is knowing the business as well as the product. A cattle farmer may know how to properly care for cattle in all aspects, but if they have no business sense than raising cattle can be a costly mistake. The same is true on the other end. Someone who has strong business sense may not do well as a crop farmer because they are unaware of how to care for and use the land properly. Good independent farmers are actually highly unique and specialized in their knowledge and abilities. These individuals are few and far between, but are amazing individuals. Being a farmer is not an easy job.
So while the independent farmer may not be someone that is simple to locate in current day America, they are still around and going strong. Support your local farmer by buying local. These people are the backbone of America and need the support of friends and neighbors to grow and flourish.