The family farm can survive and even thrive if they look at the fishing communities in New England and Maritime Canada and learn from their experiences.
Fishing was a way of life for hundred’s of years for many families living on the east coast of the US and Canada.These families are not very different from families that have kept the tradition of the family farm as an important part of the American heritage alive.
Families made their living by fishing in much the same way that families make their living by farming. A family member ran every aspect of the business:grandparents mended nets, fathers went out in boats, children off-loaded the fish and everyone cleaned the fish and readied them for sale.
Fishing supported small communities in much the same way that a family farm supports their community. Money made by the families stayed in the community. It went to local businesses, churches and schools.
When the large corporate fisheries invaded the waters in the northeast, often supported by their governments, they introduced new technology. This new technology allowed trawlers to come in and over fish the waters. You can no longer find cod fish in Maritime Canada and the fish stocks are greatly reduced elsewhere. With the collapse of cod fishing over 40,000 jobs were lost.
In small communities everywhere along the coast, families were forced to build new lives. Many communities have been changed forever.
Consumers need to support the family farm so that these farmers can compete with industrial farms,allowing us to have a choice about the food we buy. If family farms cease to exist our options on what food we buy will be greatly diminished.