Farms and ranches have the unique position of being between federally held wildlife areas and national parks and urban settlements. The history of property ownership has much to do with the values of our country and the reasons our country came into existence.
Many of the original settlers came to the United States to have the opportunity for one right – to own their own land and not be beholden to the feudal landlords of Europe.
So when the rights to own and operate on private property are threatened, it tears at the basic fabric of what has made this country what it is – the Land of Opportunity.
When we as a nation question the rights of anyone to own and operate property, we put the basis of the “Land of Opportunity” in jeopardy. The size of the land holding does not matter, what does matter is the fact that Government grabbing of land to become the primary landowner in the western United States harkens to the system in feudal Europe, where permission or favor of those in power positions is required to pursue the security of land or property ownership.
There is a deep human connection to the land, and those that farm or ranch have taken up the responsibility to be good stewards of the soil and those that depend on it. Let’s be clear here – it is not the intent of a farmer or rancher to only benefit themselves, but the very nature of the business of farming and ranching is to grow food for an ever increasing world population. The responsibility of our job is to feed people, and the dream of our job is to leave a legacy of a family of farmers and ranchers to be here for generations to continue to feed peoplethrough good stewardship of resources.
The demands being made on ranchers and farmers to give up the efficiency of their operations, to give up homesteaded land that has been carefully tended by generations, is a warning sign to every business owner, home owner, and person in our country. Already, farms and ranches are being lost in record numbers to urban pressures to own land and government land acquisitions. We understand the desire to have a piece of the American dream, but in the process let’s not cut our access to a safe and reliable food supply available right here on our country’s home soil.
Many states have been in the process of implementing Right to Farm legislation to protect the rights of those who raise our food. The process of feeding us is complex. Government regulations and limits on resources are continually demanding that we do more with less – less land, less water and less inputs. The amazing thing is that both farmers and ranchers have stepped up to the plate and made it happen, and maintained a healthy harvest of food. It is a testament to the adaptability of those that feed us. The United States still has one of the safest and most reliable food supplies in the world, because of the “can do” attitude of those that raise our food and livestock.
No one will take as good of care of the land as the one who owns it, and intends on building a legacy of producing food raised in the USA for generations to come. We hope you take time to understand the need for private property rights protection for the safety and sustainability of food for future generations of your family, and our country. Your grandchildren and great grandchildren will thank you.
This article was originally posted in the Kern Business Journal.