Yesterday a man pulled into the driveway of my farm store. His car looked to be older than I am and his stature told of years of hard work. His name was Tony, he had read that I interned at Polyface Farm, and if I had time, he would like to see my chicken tractors to check out the design.
It soon became apparent that this man had seen much in his life as a farmer. He had seen dear friends work for other farms spraying Monsanto's glyphosate die of cancer. He told me that after watching two friends die one after the other, he warned one of his friends not to take the job spraying chemicals. His friend assured him that he was in a closed-cab tractor and completely safe. Less than five years later he was dead. Cancer.
He had seen his dairy operation slowly get squeezed dry from the big dairy outfits shipping out his milk. As the years passed and the milk checks became smaller, they added on fee after fee. Finally, he was forced to shut down his dairy and sell most of his herd at auction. When he called Agri-mark to get back the 10% deposit they had taken from his checks over the years, he was notified that they would be paid back at a percentage over fifteen years. He's almost eighty years old.