Modern Farmer recently interviewed two farmers in their 60s about their experience, now that they’re ready to retire. Ruth Campbell’s Missouri farm, where she raises cows, sheep, chickens, and pigs, has been in her family for almost 200 years. David Brown grows flowers, fruit, and veggies on his Connecticut farm. Obviously you should read the whole interview, but in the meantime, here are our eight favorite quotes:
1.“[T]he current 20-year-olds make me nuts … No common sense, no memory, passive-aggressive, no reliability, no work ethic.”
2.“Right now it seems to be the thing for a lot of kids. They think, ‘Oh, isn’t that romantic? I want to grow my own food.’ The fact is, it’s very labor-intensive, and tedious, and repetitive and all of that.”
3.“I feel sorry for the people of the future. I’m glad I’ll die before then.”
4.“Hopefully I won’t die by having a heart attack in the hog lot and having the hogs eat me; that’s my only fear.”
5.“For some people, just getting food is difficult. So their focus is on what they have to pay the least amount of money for, so they can’t concern themselves with quality, because a higher quality product is going to be outside their economic means.”
6.“I think that’s how you subdue a population, by starving them.”
7.“When I started this, like with the cut flowers, a florist would say to me, ‘Honey, who cares if they’re organic? We’re not gonna eat them.’ The same florist will call me today, 20 years later, and say ‘I’ve got a bride, she wants an all-green wedding June 15, what are you gonna have then?’ So now the market is there.”
8.“[T]here’s a real window for farmers who want to do it. It’s not even a niche; it’s a chasm.”
Correction: An earlier version of this post ran a photo and video of a farmer we thought was Ruth Campbell. She wasn’t. Our bad.
‘The Current 20 Year-Olds Make Me Nuts’: Retiring Farmers Sound Off, Modern Farrmer.
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