John Ikerd, our Rootstock Radio interview this week has seen agriculture from all sides. The son of a farmer, he began in the 1970s out of college supporting the policies of Earl Butts, USDA Secretary of Ag under Richard Nixon known for his infamous directive to farmers: “Get big or get out.” By the mid-1980s, Ikerd experienced firsthand the suicides, the loss of family farms and the devastation that this policy’s impact had on rural America.
After seeing this, he did an about-face and has since worked hard to bring the culture and simple truth about family farming and sustainable agriculture back. In a post-truth era where opinions are put forward as truth regardless of the facts and the impact, the biotech and pesticide sector have done a good job convincing farmers that poisons on food are perfectly safe.
John Ikerd, after retiring from professor of agriculture and applied economics at the University of Missouri, has dedicated the past 15 years fighting CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) in Iowa. He speaks using simple truths about CAFOs. His hands-on experience and observations have led him to conclude that the too many CAFOs are prime examples of the worst kind of agriculture.
Listen to why in this powerful interview with John Ikerd, “What Industrial Agriculture Can’t Accomplish.”