Sunday, November 22, 2009

What is a Factory Farm, and Who is Sustainable?

Last night I was watching Saturday Night and low and behold they had Al Gore on proclaiming the benefits of "going green". Don't get me wrong I am all for renewable energy and saving the environment, but I am also for surviving and farming tomorrow. But that is not what I writing about.

In one skit Al Gore proclaimed the evils of factory farming and announced he was in favor of sustainable agriculture. This hit two of my pet peeves. The first is factory farming. Just what exactly is factory farming? I have many friends in the swine and poultry business and their farms are the farthest thing from a factory.

Their barns are climate controlled through all types of weather and temperatures. They receive a balanced diet, formulated for them by their very own nutritionist. They are in a disease free living area, receive the best in veterinary care and are free from the natural competition from predators and even their own kind.

As far as sustainable agriculture, every farmer and rancher I know practices sustainable agriculture. If we do not sustain the land and animals we care for we will not be around, and last I knew staying around is the definition of sustainable. The bottom line is we all employ practices like good soil and water conservation and proper animal care. If a farmer or rancher is not sustainable they will not be in business and many of us are the fourth or fifth generation on the farm or ranch. That is my definition of sustainable.

I would suggest that Mr. Gore try to educate himself on terms such as factory farm and sustainable. Farmers and ranchers are the original conservationists and I would guess that many in the Green Revolution could learn a lot about conserving resources from us.


  1. Our farm is now large enough to be a CAFO. There are those who believe a CAFO is a factory farm. Tell that to my husband, 3 sons and the other 8 - 10 families that help us. Why would we do anything less than the best to raise healthy cows, and produce the highest quality milk? Our name has been on this farm for over 100 years and we hope to be entrusted with it many many more. We enjoy your posts. Keep up the good work of educating.

  2. I looked up the definition of factory farming on wickipedia this weekend. Anyone who houses their animals could be considered a factory farm according to what is out there.