College Student Essay

Submitted By airstik2003
Words: 1035
Pages: 5

Modern Farming and the way it is viewed
Views and opinions are formed by how we are raised, what we experience and our education. Blake Hurst defends his life as a farmer in his article, “The Omnivore’s Delusion: Against the Anti-intellectuals”, he says that critics, like Michael Pollan and readers of his books, do not understand what it takes to farm in today’s world. Pollan’s backwards views criticize the industrial farmer while poisoning the mind of his readers against the truth of farming. Hurst was taught by his father and grandfather in open field, not a classroom. No text books to reference problems when they arise, only his experience guides him daily. So it is understandable that the author defends his methods of his business practice to those that never planted a seed or cleaned out a chicken coup, but seems to have knowledge from one book.
First we are all taught to read and encourage doing so, a book is one person’s opinion based on his or her personal education, experience and views. Reading a book is not the same as living the life style as did Hurst for the past 30 plus years. I feel that the author wanted to make sure that his readers understood that books and theories may make the reader think, changing their viewpoint on the subject and even educating them, but not every theory or view may be practically in the everyday life and certainly are not a substitute for work experience. I feel that Hurst did an excellent job when he states, “But now we have to listen to self-appointed experts on airplanes frightening their seatmates about the profession I have practiced for more than 30 years. I’d had enough. I turned around and politely told the lecturer that he ought not to believe everything he reads. He quieted and asked me what kind of farming I do. I told him, and when he asked if I used organic farming, I said no, and left it at that” (1 Hurst). We feel his frustrates dealing with the business man and his very limited knowledge of farming.
Hurst educates himself on the writings of Michael Pollan, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which further adds credibility to the author and his view points. He drives the point home to not believe everything that the author, Michael Pollan claims as his own ideas and truth when after he adds, “Now why didn’t I think of that?”(5). Blake Hurst added the fact that the agriculture extension meetings in the 1950’s which his own father attended, entitled “Clovers and Corns” discusses was the same message that Pollan was convening as his own ideas. Facts that Hurst uses that can be researched and proven along with his own firsthand experience. Hurst addresses the nitrogen problem with help from an expert, Norman Borlaug, founder of the green revolution. To solve the problem we would have to increase the cow population to produce more manure, which would cause more problems than global warming. He has us readers wondering where five billion cows would live. Where would we get the land to product the abundance of plants so the cows can be fed and the additional land where the cows would live? Producing food for cattle would reduce the amount of food product for humans. People would starve because they could not afford the added cost. Blake Hurst has the reader thinking and questing Pollan’s key point that nitrogen is a necessity of farming and he successfully wins the argument.
Hurst also discusses the reality of problems like weather and insects that Pollan seems to gloss over. As consumers we all know that elements of our climate either raise or lower our food productions whether it is a drought or the increase of bugs with a mild winter. We are taught at an early age about supply and demand and the effect on our wallets at the supermarket. Hurst does not point out the oblivious but makes us reader think of