I do not want my grandparents’ farm to be sold as well as I do not want my father’s farm to be sold. Even if the people I love are long gone I can still look out over the fields and the woods and remember them. If I were to look out at a Wal-Mart or a row of houses what kind of memory is there in that.
My name is Jake Scott and I grew up on a small farm in western New York in the town of LeRoy. My grandparents also owned a farm across town. The best memories I have are the ones spent on my grandparents farm traipsing through their small cluster of woods with my grandmother and younger brother to build a fire and cook a lunch of hotdogs with a dessert of marshmallows. But those days are long gone, my grandparents have both passed away and members of my family are advocating selling their farm.
My father’s farm is also on the verge of death as home developers are buying up farm lands all around us. With neither my brother or I looking to go into farming it seems as though the farm I grew up on will soon fall into the hands of a home contractor. I love looking out over the fields at sunset and I also the constant renewal of the earth, but I have fallen into the message of society to make money and become prosperous. Money is not what is standing in my way. It is the fact that my passion lies not in farming but in film.
It seems that this is the trend all around western New York. I attended a newly constructed high school, built on former farming land. Wal-Mart has also filed a proposal to build a super center on farmland just three miles from my home. Small farming has begun to give way to big business.
Is there anything that can truly stop this advance of big business upon the rural community? Not long ago there was a proposal to build large wind turbines in the small town of Stafford, which part of my father’s land is located. This proposal was voted on and defeated by the town. This kind of community action seems to be diminishing and the Wal-Mart proposal will most likely go ahead full steam.
The problem with our society is that money is now the only thing that matters. Looking out at pure farmland is personally, the most inspiring thing to look at. In one field you see the years of work that has gone into it, a lifetime of work and a cycle of growth. This is what I see, but this is not what a business man sees. He sees an opportunity to make money. He sees a potential housing development or location for some future business enterprise.
With great risk comes great reward, this saying is not true for the farmer. Farming is said to be the most dangerous job, yet the reward is not as great as the risk. A small farmer can barely survive. A small farmer can barely provide. The small farmer does have one up on the business man though for he knows nature in a way that the business man doesn’t. Nature is the farmer’s true ally, he works with it. They are companions. For the businessman nature is an obstacle. They are adversaries. I believe that the saddest thing in this country is the death of the small time farmer to give way to big business.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.