The following is an edited excerpt
4. Do you see GM seed in your sustainable farming future? Even if you’re not yet using it, or can’t yet use it because it isn’t available for your type/size of farm, do you see it as a way to sustain and/or help your operations? Why or why not?
M. Bendzela/Dow Farm: Sustainable is just a word. I agree with Professor Albert Bartlett that “sustainable” has both “virtue and vagueness” and can mean “anything you want it to mean.” Farming takes over land, grows populations, and uses non-renewable (fossil) fuels. Therefore, farming is, by definition, “un”sustainable. I do not care to speculate about what this means for our future. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I’m an optimist who loves to read about the latest science and medical developments and the rosy future of mankind. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, I’m a doomer who worries about climate change, peak oil, and over-population. I take Sundays off and don’t believe a damn thing.
B. Womack/Homestead Hill Farm: As the population continues to grow and the amount of farmland available continues to shrink, we, as global citizens as well as farmers, better investigate all the options. If GM crops enable “big ag” to continue to grow the grains that smaller operations need… then everyone should try to understand the science and not flip out over the fears. (The local old-timers tell how farmers who switched from small square bales to the large round bales were seen as radicals, turning their back on the traditional way of harvest and adopting some “new-fangeld high tech” thing.
Today, a single farmer can bale a large field in an afternoon by himself, sometimes after completeing his day job in town.