by Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmer’s Daughter, April 16, 2019
How likely would you take a job where people think you’re poisoning them?
How would you like to face an audit for what you use on your crops?
How would you like knowing that a mainland activist can sue and cause your farm to have no water?
How would you like to work all day in the hot sun only to be yelled at by a neighbor who thinks your crop protection products are killing them?
How would you like a job where you have to spend thousands of dollars to pass a food safety audit just to bring your products to market?
How would you like a job where things like port-a-potties and tractor batteries get stolen?
How would you like a job where people on the internet feel they know how to do your work and let you know it too?
How would you like a job where you have continually defend it every year at the legislature by people who have never farmed in their life but make rules about it?
This is what us farmers face in this day and age. My brother always tells me who the hell would farm knowing all the obstacles we must face? If it wasn’t for my dad’s support, he has no idea how he could manage.
Then there’s my dad watching on the sidelines of what is happening. He always tells me that the way we are moving is going to have serious consequences for all of farming. When he saw the fear mongering around pesticides, he knew that it meant the return of rat lungworm disease.
Years ago, the fear mongers happily advertised “pesticide free” produce. With the return of rat lungworm, people actually want some form of pest control and are afraid of those pesticide free signs. Organic and conventional farmers lost sales after many people fell ill to this parasite.
The professional activists are no longer spreading fear about pesticides and buffer zones but have now moved onto water, the life of farms. The weak legislators continue to cower to their demands will no realization of what this will do for the small farmer embroiled in all of this.
Tales of corporate conspiracy continue while many family farmers and ranchers face closure without water. The talk of sustainability suddenly quiets by the activists because they know darn well, their goal to have all land fallow is in reach. The governor isn’t jumping on his slogan to double food production anymore.
They listened to the activists thinking they will be a political boost. What they don’t realize is that these loudmouths feed no one and will never have a workable plan because they move from one issue to another. Nor do these people care about who is taken down in their efforts. They only seek non-profit donations to continue their unsustainable path of destruction in the ag community. They are takers with nothing to show other than grandstanding about their “accomplishment.”
If celebrating the loss of farms is a good thing, then the legislators have succeeded this year in the development of prime ag lands with their inaction to extend the permits. They’ve showed farmers that their livelihoods aren’t as important as the Sierra Club apparently. Wouldn’t be wonderful if a wealthy non-profit volunteered to pay for all the regulations they demand? I say yes, but we all know the truth isn’t so.