Anticipating the 2014 Film Farmland

Farmland, a movie premiering this Spring, 2014, gives us a closer look at the young farmers who grow our food today. In our modern age, when most all our food comes from a supermarket, it’s increasingly important to put faces to the food we eat. At Rural System we are all too aware of the plight of farmers and of all rural people.

light through clouds

Farmland: a 2014 film shedding light on the difficulties our young farmers face.

In Rural System we face (and have for years) the rapidly declining populations of Central Appalachia and the demise of profitable coal extraction and marketing. We see population growth and approaching food shortages, and understand better than almost anyone in America that we must prevent that collision. (We know we cannot because the coming numbers of people and food needs are beyond comprehension; we still try).

We love the land. Its seasonal beauty is one of the natural resources of America. We understand hard work and the meaning of life quality in the outdoors. We encourage and applaud “the family farm” and the things for which it stands. Our “deal” is that we hate effects of people leaving rural areas, leaving behind land and waters that desperately needs care and tending; children left needing new education; and noteworthy work left undone against: erosion, notable storm-water issues, pollution, wild-life poaching, ground water quantity and quality losses, salinity increase, and loss of a working, learning, helping, producing population.

Rural system is designed to hold people “down on the farm,” but it also works toward a new concept that we call now the enterprise environment. It tries to stay competitive with the large, subsidized food producers of the West. It provides jobs, stabilizes towns, improves land productivity, diversifies to reduce the traditional boom-and-bust of old-time agriculture, does expert marketing, revises scope and scale with “clustering” of willing ownerships, uses computers to improve decisions, uses millions in research results, uses new computer mapping, is “lean”(reduces losses, inefficiencies, sickness, and trauma), resists high capital investments, uses internationally the social media, diversifies classical farming, but adds to that fisheries and agro-forestry along with national and internationally strong “biodiversity” and “wellness” messages.

And, we believe, Rural System provides the only motivation that can possibly achieve the land-use and water changes needed in world rural areas to suppress effects of global climate change. We are on the cusp of a radical change in land use practices, emergence of a significantly-different rural alternative, world-wide, and not unlike the industrial revolution.

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