Monday, October 12, 2009

Farmers Can't Strike

Farming strike not an option
By Benjamin Wileman
Published: Monday, October 12, 2009
Kansas State Collegian

What if America's farmers went on strike?

What would happen?

Strikes are not an uncommon tool used, mostly by union organizations, to force the hand of companies they work for to come to the bargaining table and solve issues important to them. Several industries have used this practice, or threats of it, somewhat routinely - like the auto, airline, and package delivery industries. Recent farmer-based strikes in South America and Europe and conversations with U.S. producers got me thinking about what would happen if America's farmers went on strike.

As with many strikes, timing is important. The goal is to exert as much leverage on the company as possible so the company is inclined to negotiate quicker and with more concessions in order to not disrupt production or service at a key time. Such is often the case in the airline industry just before peak travel times around the holidays.

In the case of farming, the key times for the largest crops (corn and soybeans) would be the spring planting and the fall harvest. Let's say then, for this discussion, that the farmers chose May and June to strike. What would that look like? Read More

I’ve shared a few articles coming from our college newspapers across the country that displayed the sometimes unbelievable lack of understanding about food production. Because of that, it’s also important for me to share with you the good things that are being said. The K-State Collegian was one of the papers that featured a pro-vegetarian piece that featured some incredible half-truths and unresearched misconceptions about agriculture. The only way to combat these misunderstandings is to pull ourselves up by the boot straps and do it ourselves. This column by Dr. Wileman is a good example of that. It’s easy for most people to take for granted that there will always bee food on the shelves and he sheds some light on the amount of dedication and work it takes to make that happen.

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