“Ain’t no time to wonder why….”

Some insights on the state of farming today, via Salt Spring News:

"The very next year we wrote a parody of Country Joe's "I Feel-like-I'm-fixin'-to-die Rag" and called it "The Monsanto Rag" which became our first ever song." -- Synister Dane and the Kickapoo Disco Cosmonuts (via Salt Spring News)

“It ought to be obvious that in order to have sustainable agriculture, you have got to make sustainable the lives and livelihoods of the people who do the work. The land cannot thrive if the people who are its users and caretakers do not thrive. Ecological sustainability requires a complex local culture as the preserver of the necessary knowledge and skill; and this in turn requires a settled, stable, prosperous local population of farmers and other land users. It ought to be obvious that agriculture cannot be made sustainable by a dwindling population of economically depressed farmers and a growing population of migrant workers.

Why is our farm population dwindling away? Why are the still-surviving farms so frequently in desperate economic circumstances? Why is the suicide rate among farmers three times that of the country as a whole?

There is one reason that is paramount: The present agricultural economy, as designed by the agribusiness corporations (and the politicians, bureaucrats, economists, and experts who do their bidding), uses farmers as expendable ‘resources’ in the process of production, the same way it uses the topsoil, the groundwater, and the ecological integrity of farm landscapes.

From the standpoint of sustainability, either of farmland or farm people, the present agricultural economy is a failure. It is, in fact, a catastrophe. And there is no use in thinking that agriculture can become sustainable by better adapting to the terms imposed by this economy. That is hopeless, because its terms are the wrong terms. The purpose of this economy is rapid, short-term exploitation, not sustainability.”

— Wendell Berry, Stupidity in Concentration, 2002

Some lyrics from the song referred to in the caption of the photo at top:

Well, come on all of you farmin’ folks
Ole Monsanto’s a blowin’ smoke
They got genetic freaks and corporate greed
You can spray anything but you can’t save seed
They’re changin’ Mother Nature’s rules
There’s new genes in the pool

And it’s one, two, three, what are we sprayin’ for?
Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn, it’s a chemical promise land.
And it’s five, six, seven, get ready to terminate
Ain’t no time to wonder why, you can kiss your farm good-bye.

Well, come on farmers get off your ass
Roundup Ready is here is last.
Sign away your privacy,
When you buy into technology.
Don’t ya be the last fool on the block
To grow genuine Frankenstein crops.

And it’s one, two, three, what are we sprayin’ for?
Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn, it’s a chemical promise land.
And it’s five, six, seven, get ready to terminate
Ain’t no time to wonder why, you can kiss your farm good-bye.”

Full lyrics and mp3 files here

All this goes to the tune of:


Read more on The Salt Spring News.

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