Dear Farm Journal,
I have never worked so hard and been so broke! There is something seriously wrong with a food system that does not financially reward the people who produce food! Why are we so obsessed with cheap food? Cheap food means starving farmers, and even suicidal farmers. I mean, I’m not to that point, but it is becoming way too common. I just read that the suicide rate of farmers is now double that of veterans, and I can see why. It is beyond being overworked and underpaid. As a farmer, you give your entire life, your time, your home, your family, your energy, your passion, and your bottom dollar. You keep working when you are tired, sick, hurt, lonely, fed up, and weary. You work when it’s too hot, too cold, too rainy, too snowy, too windy, and too dark. People look sideways at your dirty hands and feet, your disheveled hair, your worn out clothes, and your broke down van. You can’t afford Christmas presents or fresh vegetables in the winter time. Every month is a stretch and a scrape to make the farm payment and keep the lights on. The deer, the flea beetles, the rabbits, and the mice eat your hard work up overnight. Equipment is constantly breaking down. Your body is slowly breaking down, and it really feels like no one appreciates a goddamn thing you do. They don’t appreciate what you went through to produce this beautiful organic head of lettuce. They don’t know you fought the the wind and hail in April to keep it alive, while there was little in your own kitchen. They just want cheap food, so here we stand, exhausted, and broke.