A Millennial’s Perspective of Farming and the Future of America’s Food

During our 3-week stay at Vernal Vibe Rise, I witnessed one of the most admirable and humbling displays of diligence and dedication I have ever seen. We all have people in our lives whom we look up to for all sorts of inspiration (mentors or role models if you will), and Quincy is one of those few humans who will continue to inspire many people. When I was a kid, my mom would often tell me that anyone who works hard at anything will eventually reap the fruits of that labor. Sooner or later, it happens, and being at VVR was a much needed reminder of this lesson.

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I hope I don’t get too preachy, but please entertain my thoughts for a moment. I belong to a generation that has had to struggle with the consequences of the near-sighted decisions and assumptions that our predecessors made about our natural and human-crafted resources. While my generation has more gadgets and better access to information than ever before, we carry a large burden that no other generation has faced. We are having to deal with the consequences of carelessly mining natural resources, and we are realizing that mass-production coupled with an irresponsible “free market” is perhaps the most pernicious combination of social constructs that humans have ever created. Thankfully, the Internet has helped us see that there are smarter ways of powering our homes, fueling our vehicles, planning our cities, and growing our food. On the Internet, you will find that many hard-working people are helping to spread the word about the vast world of wiser alternatives to the way in which we grow our food and raise our livestock. Suddenly, urban farms are sprawling all across the country. Suddenly, farmers markets are sprawling in abandoned lots in various cities. But what I found most encouraging about my stay at VVR is that many of us are talking about these hard truths and quickly seeing that all the information and technology we need to make our world a more responsible one is already in our hands.

If we look back in time, especially to the humble, rebellious beginnings of this country, we can easily appreciate that social revolutions are slow to occur. But if there is one quality that characterizes this country over the centuries, it has got to be its undeniable ability to foster some amazing social revolutions. And it is pioneers like Quincy who take matters into their own hands and lead the rest of us into a transitional period.  I am grateful that people, such as Quincy, have fearlessly challenged the status quo by acknowledging that something isn’t right about the way we’re mass-producing livestock. It is inspiring to see that people are empowering themselves to do things differently.

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Meeting Quincy and her loving, collaborative community was an honor. Indeed, a reminder that anything is possible as long as you work hard and support your local community (be it by purchasing food from local farmers or, in Quincy’s case, by selling your product to local, small businesses). Quincy, I wish you nothing but the best–you’ve definitely earned it 😀

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With much love and appreciation,
Hugo

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