It is easy for city folk to throw stones at the agriculture farm bill [“Cut subsidies to Big Agriculture,” Northwest Voices, Jan. 31).
I grew up farming in Illinois and still have a very small farm in Quincy, Ill. Who it should affect, and the contents of the farm bill, can be debated many ways. But keep in mind that not all farms are run by big corporations, as implied in the letter. Most farms are family-owned and operated by one or two sons, a dad, a husband and wife, or a combination of family members — often second or third generation farmers.
Farming is the riskiest occupation. Farmers have no control over the prices they receive for their products, nor the prices they pay for fuel, fertilizer, seed, and feed supplements, nor control over the weather. If you completely take away a safety net for the farmers and they go out of business, where will you get your food? From China?
The family farm, just like small businesses, is an engine that runs the economy. Many things we can do without, but food is pretty essential in our lives. So we cannot allow the farmer to go under.
Larry Brickman, Bellevue