6 comments on “Do Corporations Really Dominate Farming?

  1. Hey Julee, I was excited about his article… and then he said “The reality is that farming itself is generally a terrible business”, and he lost me. Besides being tired of the false portrayal of farmers as “corporate”, I’m equally tired of the farmers as country bumpkins or backwards or uneducated. This type of conversation always reverts back to an arrogance that these “others” writing about ag “know better” and somehow we farmers are just not able to think independently, make the best decisions for our operations, or manage our resources effectively. I had 30 dietitians out to the farm yesterday and it was very educational for them to see the modern technology with the land stewardship. Many of them said “I had no idea…”. it would be nice if others didn’t just childishly/gullibly absorb what journalists are putting out there and actually see what we do day in and day out. thx,

    • I understand completely why a farmer would take offense to that.

      In this case, I believe Philpott was saying there is easier corporate money to be made elsewhere, not in farming. That’s what he meant by “terrible” business and perhaps why big business generally steers clear.

      When it comes to the media we can’t agree on ALL points, but coming from Philpott and going to the audience that it does, I still think it’s a step in the right direction.

  2. Julee, I have done a piece on this very topic. I just wanted to share it with you. http://kissedafarmer.blogspot.com/2012/08/family-farmer-who-decides.html Many, Many Family Farmers have set their small business up as an LLC, which makes perfect business sense. Many, many of those LLC’s have two members, the farmer and the spouse. Just because they have decided to have a smart business plan for their small business, they are not some giant corporate monster. They are Family Farmers running a smart small business. But on the “books” and the “lists” it shows their smart small business LLC as a “giant corporate monster!” The small coffee shop that I love to frequent is ran by my friend, and she has her coffee shop set up as an LLC…that does not make her Starbucks!!

    • Great post Suzie. YOU are one of the faces of farming for me and I think of you and your husband often. I think of the Eastern Oregon wheat farmers I know and also of Brian Scott and Marie Bowers. You all represent American farming to me. The wheat farmers I know are fifth generation on an original homestead century farm.

  3. This is not directly on topic but related. It discusses whether Organic growers, or any growers for that matter, do or even should enjoy superior rights over their neighbors, especially GMO farmers, simply because they are natural, or they were there first.


    I, too, agree with FarmerGirlJen but, then, an anti-gmo staple is that farmers are too dumb to know that, “GMO’s don’t work”, (Which, of course, they are not) and Tom Philpott does align himself with the anti-gmo camp. So, it’s sad, but not too unexpected.

  4. This article isn’t even about GMOs, but goes about pointing out that it is still families, not corporations as is widely believed, that farm our food. Coming from Philpott and Mother Jones, I found it to be a powerful message to an audience that mostly hears/believes the opposite. Every now and then, Philpott gets one right and I think he did here.

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