|Cattle grazing on threatened grasslands in Colorado.|
| ||Agriculture is one of the cornerstones of society, even though many people take it for granted, it is very much a national security issue. The United States is already dependent on foreign oil, what will happen if we become dependent on foreign countries for our food supplies as well? |
Agriculture is still the occupation of almost 50% of the world's population, but the numbers vary from less than 3% in industrialized countries to over 60% in Third World countries. On this continent, one or two percent of the population produce the food for 98 percent of the population. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the less people producing food in this country equals more food being imported.
As Americans we are in danger of losing an important feature of our cultural landscape; family farms and ranches. The small scale of ranching operations within the proposed expansion area are threatened with becoming a thing of the past. These family ranches are an important asset, worth preserving, not only for the sake of the multi-generational ranching families who have exercised careful stewardship of the land, but also for the sake of a public which is increasingly interested in knowing where their food is coming from and who's producing it.
Just like in the situation with the PCMS, farmers and ranchers and the economies that rely on them are suffering, but if we continue to rely more and more on food production from outside the US, we’re all going to be suffering. Dependence on foreign oil is a huge issue without adding dependence on foreign food. If our food producers are cut, chances are good that some time in the future we’ll be sending our soldiers off to fight and die for food, or because of it.
If this were the only place in the country facing a threat to farmers and ranchers it wouldn’t be so bad, unfortunately though, farmers and ranchers all over North America are facing these issues. Our threat is just magnified because it takes out a large production group all at once. The PCMS expansion is an American issue, and unfortunately it highlights some serious mismanagement and lack of vision by those in charge of the DoD.
Here are some interesting articles on food production, and agriculture as a culture (because agricultural producers – farmers and ranchers – are different from the general population, according to the American Psychological Association anyway...)