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BOOK AND BOOKLETSWORLD CRISIS IN AGRICULTURE (1974)by Gary Alexander and the Ambassador College Agricultural Research DepartmentTable of Contents
Chapter One - The Quantity Crisis: The Land of Plenty?
Chapter Two - The Quality Crisis: Foodless Foods
Chapter Three - The Economic Crisis: Finances on the Farm
Chapter Four - The Government Crisis: The Land and the Book
THE QUANTITY CRISIS: The Land of Plenty ?
America — the land of plenty, breadbasket of the j-\ world!
nearly 200 years American food stocks have comfortably fed America's
people, often with enough left over to help less fortunate nations.
Despite man-made or weather-caused shortages, no American generation
has suffered through the pangs of massive famine, such as Biafra,
India, sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh have recently experienced.
Food shortages, when they occurred, have been local and temporary in
To American eyes, such food shortages seem to occur
only in lands where gaunt oxen pull knotty wooden plows through
mud-slogged soils, or where gnarled hands eke out a bare existence upon
yellow, eroded soils amid squalid huts. To most Americans, all such
pain is safely segregated — south of the border or far across the ocean.
America's Food Chain
such famines ever strike in prosperous, abundant, vibrant America? Take
a look at the average American farmer. Though his productivity is
enviable by world standards, a closer look reveals that the American
farmer could easily suffer the same fate as his Asian counterpart. By
scrutinizing the average American farmer and his dilemma, we can see
seven interdependent potential problems of crop production:
1) New cropland is running out
2) Seeds and livestock are genetically vulnerable
3) Soil fertility is declining
4) Energy sources are scarcer
5) Manpower is more expensive
6) Weather is unpredictable
7) Storage and distribution problems are increasing.
seven steps, listed in chronological order from land to larder,
comprise a food chain. Complete failure of any one link, or partial
failure of several links in the chain, could bring catastrophic food
I. No More Land
is no unexplored "El Dorado" left for mankind to farm. America, long
the breadbasket for some "have-not" nations, is now becoming more
concerned with feeding itself. Lester R. Brown, leading American
agricultural expert, recently stated that at least half of America's 50
million acres of reserve cropland would have to be put back into
production. In 1974 it was. However, most of this remaining cropland is
so marginal that erosion and fertilizer shortages cancelled out most of
the expected gains.
"For the first time since the end of World
War II," he added, "the world is without either of the two important
safety valves in the world food economy — surplus stocks of grain and a
large reserve of United States cropland that could readily be brought
back into production."
New acreage is only half the problem. The
declining quantity and quality of current acreage is even more serious.
An estimated 400,000 productive farm acres are lost each year in the
United States due to erosion. Millions of other acres are partially
lost due to wind and water erosion.
In addition, over a million
acres of United States land — much of it prime agricultural farmland —
are lost each year to highways, housing additions, shopping centers,
and other suburban developments. According to one exhaustive computer
study, entitled The Limits to Growth, nearly half of all arable land
available for agriculture will be consumed by urban-industrial growth
before the year 2050. Meanwhile, population will quadruple!
II. Genetic Vulnerability
potential problem within agriculture's "quantity crisis" involves the
type of seed used. As the June 1971 Scientific American warned: "Hardy
high-yield varieties of major food crops, carefully crossbred and
highly selected, are the success story of modern plant genetics, but
they may carry the seed of their own destruction."
when sown by machine, must be uniform in size and shape, and the fruit,
to be reaped by machine, must be uniform in size and shape, too. The
seeds or fruit must also ripen at the same time to be harvested
For this reason, most major food producers utilize
only a very few seed varieties per crop. Two genetic pea types, for
instance, account for 96 percent of the entire pea crop in the United
States. Using only one or two seed types, however, increases
vulnerability to decimation by just one virus, fungus, or other disease.
example, consider the corn blight that diminished the U. S. corn crop
by about 700 million bushels during the summer and fall of 1970. The
disease, a fungus which attacks both the leaves and grain of corn,
affected plants with a "T-cytoplasm" genetic strain, which included 90
percent of all hybrid corn grown in the United States.
vulnerability to disease stems from the very narrow base of genetic
variation of a crop. Most major crops have a genetic uniformity which
aids the efficiency of agribusiness, but opens the crop up to
widespread pathogenic disease.
III. Declining Soil Fertility
life-saving topsoil on our planet averages only seven inches in depth —
equivalent to an invisible film three-millionths of an inch thick on a
desk globe — yet nearly all the matter constituting our food, clothing,
and shelter comes from it. Four billion humans depend on this thin
layer for life. How long can the world's productivetopsoil withstand the combined onslaught of erosion, improper fertilization, and over-farming?
extent of soil erosion in America is massive, but the loss of soil
nutrients by erosion is even worse than the volume of erosion would
indicate. In New Jersey, for instance, soil materials removed from test
plots by the selective action of erosion contained 4.7 times as much
organic matter, three times as much phosphorus, and 1.4 times as much
potassium as the original soil in the plots. Erosion takes the prime
ingredients of soil and leaves the dross behind.
Another sign of
declining soil fertility is the advent of artificial fertilizers.
Chemical fertilizer is the "fuel that has powered the Green
Revolution," according to 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman A.
Borlaug. In order to feed the new hybrid crops of corn, wheat, sorghum
and rice constituting the "green revolution," it is absolutely
essential to churn out more and more tons of fertilizer.
great quantities of natural gas, electrical energy, and other energy
forms needed to produce these fertilizers are in short supply and are
IV. Energy Crisis on the Farm
the number of American farmers has been cut in half this century, the
average acreage of farms has more than doubled, from 150 acres to 380.
To face the challenge of "produce or perish," farmers have become
almost entirely dependent for their survival on machines and the energy
sources which run these machines.
In 1850, fuel sources on the
farm were 95 percent naturally renewable (men, animals, wind, water,
and wood), while today 95 percent of energy sources used are
nonrenewable (coal, oil and natural gas). Not only are many of the
products of the latter forms of energy harmful to the environment,
scarce and expensive, they also can never be retrieved or renewed.
Shortages of these fuels are therefore inevitable.
depends on a heavy supply of fuel at certain times of the year, rather
than a constant steady small supply, such as urban homeowners and
automobile drivers need. In the spring of 1973, however, as planting
was in full swing, fuel was often unavailable. Cotton crops just
sprouting could not be tended; preparation and planting on some farms
was halted. Longtime fuel customers waited precious days for delivery
of their fuel.
Prevention of similar or worse fuel crises
appears to be impossible. A cold winter with excessive drains on fuel
reserves, a Middle East confrontation, or organized labor disputes
within the oil industry could jam the brakes on vital sectors of
Attorney General William Saxbe noted the
irony of America's upside-down priorities when he said: "I think when
farmers can't get enough gas to harvest their crops at the same time
thousands of persons are burning up gas in recreational pursuits,
rationing is very possible."
V. Manpower Problems
S. Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz has stated that more young,
progressive, and educated blood needs to be injected into the life
veins of agribusiness. Yet the average farm operator is 55, and his
20-year-old sons and daughters are rapidly heading for the cities, for economic as well as personal reasons.
look at the economic factors. The average beginning farmer needs the
highest outlay of capital among all United States businesses, including
steel manufacturing. A young farmer needs in excess of $200,000 to set
up an average 400-acre corn and poultry farm in Nebraska. Many farm
youth are turned off at the prospect of eternally being in debt (more
on this economic crisis in chapter three).
Besides the cold,
hard economics of farming, personal reasons also drive youths from the
farm — the modern ideal of "pleasure before work" has gripped a large
share of younger America. A hard day's work under the sun is spurned in
favor of a higher-paying desk job. High-paying jobs are in the cities,
while most farmers are unable to pay an equivalent wage.
major labor problem is the recent trend toward unionization of farm
labor. No longer is the "family farm" the only primary production unit.
Corporations run many of the largest farms, and large corporations
usually engender large labor unions. Both sides demand justice, and the
consumer is caught in the middle.
Should an organized farmer's
union ever gain widespread membership, it is feasible that a strike — a
food holdout — could rapidly deplete supermarket shelves and storage
bins. In 1973, National Farmer's Organization livestock and milk
"holding actions" (strikes) were a small premonition of more disruptive
food strikes in the future.
VI. Unpredictable Weather
link in the food chain discussed so far is extremely important, but one
factor stands out above all others. No other factor can spell famine
faster than bad weather; yet this one factor is mostly out of man's
The most important aspect of weather is precipitation.
In 1972, for instance, Russia was hit by insufficient snow cover which
caused much of its winter wheat to freeze out. Then late spring rains
delayed planting, followed by a summer drought which decimated that
lateplanting. Later, autumn rains came which impaired harvest, resulting in their worst wheat crop in 100 years.
United States is fortunate in having had many years of favorable
weather, or bad weather "saved" in the end by "rain in due season" or a
timely thaw. Following the devastating floods of 1973, for instance,
skies quickly cleared, fields dried, and farmers in most areas were
able to plant their crops. Had the rains continued much longer, farmers
would have been in deep trouble.
Some day, those needed rains
and breaks in the weather just won't come! Right now in 1974 we are
experiencing the driest year since the 1930s. Meteorologists don't give
us much encouragement. Drought is "overdue," according to many and
according to the 20-year cycle of drought dating back 100 years.
Prolonged dryness in some areas (and excessive rain followed by drought
and hot winds in others) have already inflicted heavy losses on 1974
crops. Yet few people in today's air-conditioned society truly worry
How much odd weather is caused by man's
intrusions into the environment? Experts are still debating this, but
one cost to agriculture is sure: the "ill winds" of air pollution reap
at least $500 million in crop loss annually.
VII. Food Storage and Distribution
little food is eaten as soon as it is harvested. Most food travels
hundreds of miles and many days before it is consumed. In order for
man's fragile food chain to survive, harvested crops must be kept safe
from wasteful rots, fungi, insects, and animals. How has this battle
In the world at large, not very well! The United
Nations Food and Agricultural Organization termed storage losses as
"enormous." Nobel Prize winner Sir Robert Robinson estimated storage
losses as between 15% (average in the U. S.) and 35% (in underdeveloped
nations) lost to pests or diseases.
Even in the United States, a
possible energy shortage could mean losses of refrigerated meats and
vegetables. Severe weather problems could impair storage and
distribution, and a labor strike would also hold up the vital links of
distribution. As with all links in the food chain, distribution is
subject to the whims of fuel shortages, snowstorms, floods, internal
political crises, and simple oversights, such as a "boxcar shortage"
which has struck the United States railroads in recent years.
to these dangers, many farmers have bought their own grain bins,
storing as much of their own produce as possible. Wheat farmers,
fearing they may get burned again by artificially low prices or a
"wheat deal" with a foreign nation, are prepared for next time. But is
the consumer prepared?
The seven links in the food chain,
described above, show just how vulnerable, how fragile, how "finely
tuned" our ultra-technological, highly sophisticated and interdependent
economy is. Never before in man's history has so much food depended on
so few food producers. It is truly man's greatest gamble!
Another Quantity Crisis
modern-day agronomists diligently treat half of the problem — food
quantity — the "other" quantity crisis continues apace: runaway
population. With 70 million new mouths to feed each year, no
nutritional equation can ignore the sheer volume of humankind to feed.
As Dr. Paul Ehrlich said: "Whatever your cause, it's a lost cause
without population control." Such control is not a panacea, but it is a
necessary beginning step.
The vast majority of the world
currently suffers from both crises of quantity: not enough food and too
many people. Each year, five million people starve to death, and each
night half the world goes to bed (and wakes up!) hungry. But this,
Americans think, is a crisis that will never attack their own families.
This chapter has shown you otherwise. America's food economy is dangerously fragile for the following reasons:
The quantity of food produced is often beyond man's control. Various
external factors, such as disease or weather, affect the food chain and
can easily upset it.
2) The food production
chain is integrally linked to the remainder of the economy. If the
economy fails, so will food production and distribution, as in the
Depression of the 1930s.
3) Each of the seven
vital links in the food chain is integrally linked to the others. A
break in one link, or a wearing of many links, would severely affect
the entire food chain.
So far, America and the West have been spared, but is time running out within "the land of plenty"?
THE QUALITY CRISIS: Foodless Foods
Something is basically wrong with American health.
Between 1950 and 1970, the nation's health expenses rose from $12
billion to over $70 billion, yet life expectancy during that time
actually declined. A majority of America's poor have woefully
inadequate diets, yet an even more shocking fact reveals that three out
of eight (37%) of the upper-class also have nutritionally deficient
More than half of all Americans die of cardiovascular
(heart and blood vessel) diseases — or double the rate in European
nations, and seven times the rate of Japan. In 1900, cancer accounted
for only 3.7 percent of deaths in America, but that rate has jumped
fivefold, to 18% today.
A logical question arises: Why can't
affluent America buy better health? Another question — appropriate to
this booklet — is: How does our agriculture affect our health?
health begins with healthy soil. Soils vary widely in composition, but
most fertile soils are defined as "the highly dynamic, living,
breathing combination of rock and mineral particles, organic matter and
humus, largeand small air and water pores, and a vast array of small animal and plant organisms."
Louise F. Gray, a biochemist and member of the staff of the U. S.
Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory wrote: "The soil is the source of
all the minerals the plant contains. With these and with water, carbon
dioxide from the air and energy from the sunlight, the plant
synthesizes the organic components — carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and
vitamins — that man and animals need for life" (FOOD, 1959 Yearbook of
Agriculture, p. 390).
The organic matter of the soil serves as a
storehouse for many important plant nutrients. Over 95% of the soil's
nitrogen, 98% of the sulfur, and up to 60% of the phosphorus reserve
may be stored there. Humus, a product of organic matter decomposition,
is also important as a soil conditioner and colloid, which makes the
soil suitable for plant growth.
Humus-rich land absorbs heavy
rain into the soil, while humus-poor soil allows rapid runoff and soil
erosion in even a light rain. Centuries of soil formation and favorable
weather has given virgin soil in America an abundance of humus,
nitrogen and organic matter. The single most important responsibility
of agriculture today is to replenish, rebuild and maintain that soil
of today's deserts, jungles, and wastelands are the farmlands of
yesteryear. They were ruined through improper agricultural management.
Early Americans, for instance, "mined" this virgin American soil until
it lost much of its fertility. Then they moved on to "rape" yet more
acres of virgin soil.
In 1860, every American had 60 acres per
capita, most of it untouched and "undeveloped." By 1900, the average
American had only 25 acres; he had 15 acres in 1930; and less than 10
acres today. Just one-fifth of American soil is devoted to cropland,
so, in effect, each American has two acres from which to wrest enough
nutrients to live.
Most American land is eroded, in need of immediate conservation and care, according to the U. S. Soil Conservation
Service. The fertility of the remaining soil is declining, since more
plant nutrients are taken out each year than are added. The health of a
nation's citizens is proportional to the nutrients in the soil, and in
America at least both are declining.
Between 1950 and 1970, the
vast implementation of chemical fertilizers increased yield per acre by
53%, although it took 700% more fertilizer to accomplish this growth.
But fertilizer mainly increased the quantity of crops, not the quality.
In the Asian "Green Revolution," beginning in 1965, the quality and
edibility of crops also declined although quantity increased.
use of nitrogen fertilizers has at times resulted in nitrate toxicity
in livestock and high nitrite levels in canned and frozen processed
vegetables. Wide varieties of soil have been loaded with too much of
the wrong types of fertilizer, while the right balance of available
minerals and organic matter would build up soil fertility.
beginning solution to the soil fertility problem is the use of animal
manure as fertilizer, yet in most areas the animals and crops are
segregated and "ne'er the twain shall meet."
Variations in Food Quality
like to look at the earth as a large space capsule — a limited
biosphere with its own self-contained life-support system. This
"biosphere" is the thin sheet, extending five miles above sea level
and, in places, five miles below, and covering the 200 million square
miles of the earth's surface. Within that thin lacquer layer of your
desk globe, virtually all life forms thrive and interrelate in dozens
of cyclical systems.
The cycle of food nutrients is just one of
many such systems. The nutrients in food depend on the soil, the
weather, the seed and soil management. Those nutrients which are taken
away by harvest can be returned through the judicious use of food
"waste," thus completing the cycle. America's nutrient cycle, however,
is an "open" system — commercial fertilizer alone does not completethe cycle. Consequently, soils become depleted or unbalanced, causing foods to vary widely in nutritional value.
an example of the variation in food nutrients, the National Canners
Association tested various fruits and vegetables for consistency of
vitamin C. For the same amount of orange juice, vitamin-C content
ranged from 11.1 to 52.2 milligrams per 100 grams, spinach varied from
3.4 to 35.5 milligrams, and tomato juice varied from 1.8 to 45.5
milligrams per 100 grams.
The variation in trace minerals was
even more extreme. Processed milk has run from 362 parts per million
(ppm) of iodine down to zero ppm, while vegetables grown on soil in one
part of the country assay 1100 ppb (parts per billion) iodine, against
20 ppb elsewhere. This severely affects human health; especially was
this so before iodine was added to table salt.
Minerals such as
iron and zinc are very important for soil fertility and human health,
yet iron in spinach has varied from 10 ppm to 1584 ppm, and iron in
tomatoes has varied from 1 ppm to 1938 ppm. Zinc, though less
publicized, is also vital to health, but has become deficient in many
of the major fruit and vegetable growing areas of the U. S.
affects nutritive qualities of crops in several ways. The protein
content of small grains such as wheat is higher in hot, dry climates
and is lower in moist, cold climates. The nitrogen and mineral content
of soils in dry, hot regions generally is higher because less leaching
of these nutrients occurs than in wet regions. A limited moisture
supply means that less vegetative growth takes place, and more nitrogen
is available for grain production. High protein grain is produced in
dry years and lower protein grain in wet years.
Studies in North
Carolina showed calcium and vita-man C content of crops to be 35% and
39% higher, respectively, in the spring than in the fall. This was
attributed to differences in weather. Vitamin C in tomatoes and turnip
greens was also directly correlated with exposure of the tomato fruit
or the turnip leaf to sunlight during the period just before
harvesting. Vitamin C in turnip greens varied directly with light
intensity, with 28.2 mg under lowest light intensity, and 235.5 mg
under highest light intensity. Fertilizer treatments such as nitrogen
have been associated with reduced levels of vitamin C in the fruits.
factors such as temperature and rainfall affect plant composition
indirectly through their effect on soil formation and mineral
availability. Soils that have a high content of organic matter absorb
and hold more moisture and tend to be drought resistant. Organic matter
in the soil also tends to stabilize soil temperature, keeping it cooler
in the hot summer and warmer in the winter.
Soil fertility, weather and climate all affect the nutritive quality of plants and the types that can be grown in a given area.
Genetic Quality and Vulnerability
the first chapter, seed varieties were shown to be, on the whole,
monocultured hybrids more vulnerable to blight and disease. The reason
is that seeds are chosen for their yield potential and uniformity of
crop, rather than quality. The public has apparently not been
interested in paying extra for higher nutritional quality.
to the USDA Plant, Soil, and Nutrition Lab in Ithaca, New York,
"different plant species exhibit marked variation in their ability to
extract required nutrient elements from... the soil. Different
varieties of the same crop species grown on the same soil contain
different levels of mineral elements."
All links in the
agricultural chain — consumers, processors, farmers, government
agencies, agricultural colleges, plant breeders and the food industry —
have demanded, encouraged, and promoted genetic uniformity at the
We have already described the 1970 corn blight as
an example of genetic vulnerability. Another example is the potato
blight that triggered the tragic famine of Ireland in 1845, which wiped
out one-third of the population of Ireland and caused another third to
emigrate to America and Europe. Genetic uniformity and crop monoculture
provide the ideal invitation to famine or plague.
diversity is the best insurance against such vulnerability. Educated
farmers can do their own breeding and selection of seed varieties
adapted to their local soil and weather.
The Purpose of "Pests"
USDA estimates crop loss due to weeds at $5 billion per year in the U.
S., and a similar $5 billion loss due to insects. This represents
almost a one-third loss of potential crops. To combat these twin
ravages, three-fourths of all fruits and two-thirds of all vegetables
are treated with insecticides (to kill bugs), and one-fourth of all
crops are treated with herbicides (to kill weeds). These pesticides are
toxic to animal and plant life, of course, because that is their
More than a billion pounds of pesticides are known to
have already accumulated in the earth's air, water, soil and life
forms, and each link in the food chain multiplies the poison's
toxicity. Pesticide concentrations increase an astounding ten million
times from sea water levels to the highest level, birds eating fish.
this insecticide saturation, the distressing fact is that insects on
plants still abound. This is because their predator insects were also
killed, while at the same time mutated pest strains survived because of
resistance to certain pesticides.
Less than one percent of
insect species are considered "pests." The other 99% (including bees,
wasps and butterflies — the plant-pollinating species) are also wiped
out. These "innocent bystanders" serve as aerators of the soil,
predators of insects, and scavengers of animal and plant waste. Yet
they too are killed.
Sir Albert Howard observed that even the pests are valuable, and should not be indiscriminately killed:
and fungi are not the real cause of plant diseases but only attack
unsuitable varieties or crops imperfectly grown. Their true role is
that of censors for pointing out the crops that are improperly
nourished and so keeping our agriculture up to the mark. In other
words, the pests must be looked upon as Nature's professors ofagriculture: as an integral portion of any rational system of farming.
policy of protecting crops from pests by means of sprays, powders, and
so forth is unscientific and unsound as, even when successful, such
procedure merely preserves the unfit and obscures the real problem —
how to grow healthy crops" (An Agricultural Testament, p. 161).
Overfed and Undernourished
are what you eat," has become a cliche, but it's still true. Your
body's 30 trillion cells must be replaced by the billions of new cells
each day from the food you take in. More than 50 known nutrients in
proper balance are the building blocks of these new cells. All of your
red bloodcells, for example, must be replaced every four months within the bone marrow.
to the USDA surveys, each year people ate nutritionally better until
1960. But between 1960 and 1970, the trend was toward "empty calories"
(candy, chips, liquor, sweets and fats). The average overfed and
undernourished American now eats 115 pounds of refined sugar each year.
increasing amount of our food is processed and packaged before it
reaches our plate. In 1940, only 10% of food was processed, but today
fully half of all food is highly processed. Transportation, storage,
handling and processing of food often leads to a reduction in nutrients
at each stage.
"Enriched and Fortified"
to Dr. Jean Mayer, the leading American nutritionist, "vitamin-enriched
junk is still junk. If you start out with no nutrition, or if you take
out 20 nutrients and you add 3 or 4, you still don't have anything very
remarkable." Nutritional biochemist Dr. Roger Williams noted that rats
fed on commercially "enriched" flour died from malnutrition!
Mayer added that "enrichment is no substitute for eating enough
unprocessed foods and vegetables," yet food companies spend well over
$1 billion annually to advertise what are the least nutritious, and
most highly processed, foods. If your tissues could talk or your cells
could advertise, you would be buying and eating the opposite of what is
pushed in most "food" ads!
Government regulations and controls,
while grading foods for price and safety, make little mention of
nutritive value. "Generally speaking," said one, "our standards of
quality are based on appearance, texture, uniformity, marbling, and so
on." In fact, "prime" grade beef contains 18 percent less protein and
46 percent more fat per pound than the cheaper "good" grade.
only solution is for each citizen to study and understand the
principles of nutrition. The medical and scientific professions should
be leading in this study, but "until very recently it [nutrition] was
not taught at all in medical schools, and even now it is not taught in
the vast majority of them" (U.S. Nutrition Policies in the Seventies,
Jean Mayer, ed., 1973, p. 9).
The World's Quality Crisis
world at large presently suffers both in quantity (the "eternal
compulsory fast," as Mahatma Gandhi called it) and quality. While ten
thousand starve each day due to lack of quantity, more than 50,000 die
each day due to diseases of malnutrition (lack of food quality).
deficiency is a major problem. In Africa this disease is called
kwashiorkor, or literally, "the disease the older baby gets when the
new baby comes." Since mother's milk is the only protein available to
such children, the older (age 2-4) child begins to swell in the belly,
his hair turns gray, his skin cracks, and he slowly dies in mute misery.
diseases also plague the poor of America, especially the elderly and
the poor children of broken families. The greatest irony is among the
migrant laborers who actually harvest America's bumper crop. They see
the food each day, but can't afford to buy it.
The "quality of
life," however, means more than money. Many poor people make
nutritional ends meet, but the life-style and eating habits of the rich
often make their dietary habits worse than some of the poor. Many poor
tribes of the world routinely live to be 100 years old, due to natural
foods and a peaceful life-style: the Mabaans of the Sudan, the Hunza's
of Kashmir, the Abkhasians of Georgian Russia, the Andeans of Ecuador,
and other small tribes. Their rate of centenarians (those living beyond
age 100) is up to 20 times that of the U. S.
There is no gene or
magic medicine that is a modern "fountain of youth." Physically, you
are what you eat; and mentally, you are what you think. It is time to
put quality back in both.
THE ECONOMIC CRISIS: Finances on the Farm
American farmer has essentially suffered 40 years of economic
depression, in two stages — from 1920 to 1940, and from 1952 to 1972.
This has commonly been referred to, by economists and politicians
alike, as the farm problem. Economic fluctuations since 1972 brought
new hopes to some, but disaster to others. The Golden Age of
Agriculture, which many farmers are trying to recapture, was from 1900
to 1920 and to a lesser extent the 1940s.
Inflation hurts every
American, but the farmer has been hurt most. Between 1940 and 1972,
inflation quadrupled average prices in America, but prices for
foodstuffs did not even double. Despite that slight increase in food
prices, the farmer had not increased his share of that doubling. While
the price of a loaf of bread doubled (between 1940 and 1972) from
13<t to 25C, the retailers earned 120% more, the baker and
wholesaler got 94% more, and the farmer who raised the grain got no
more percentage. He continued to earn his 3lM per loaf!
words, the American farm has been subsidizing the high American
standard of living. Americans spend the lowest share (16%) of their
national income on food — while Englishmen spend 29% of their income on food, Italians 45%, and Indians 80%.
food boycotts of 1973 apparently demonstrated that the American
consumer has decided he should be supplied with low-cost food,
regardless of what it costs the producer. If consumers were educated to
the problem, however, they would not boycott food, the end product of a
complex chain, but rather "boycott" bad weather conditions, export
demands, unpredictable crop diseases, higher production and processing
costs and government subsidies for not planting crops. These, not the
farmer, have raised prices.
Agriculture's Role in the Economy
is the world's largest and most basic industry. Even in an industrial
society like the United States, it employs more people than steel,
autos, utilities, and transportation industries combined. Three out of
ten workers are employed in some job related to agriculture. Five
million farmers are aided by six million workers providing the supplies
farmers use, and eight million workers in the storing, processing and
marketing of agriculture's products — food and fiber.
supplies about 60% of all raw materials entering the economy. All of
the coal, oil, chemicals and minerals comprise only about 35%, and
forestry products about 5%. As the major supplier of raw materials for
America's economy, agriculture has been the traditional bastion of free
enterprise within an otherwise highly managed industrial economy.
Economists consider agriculture a "pure" competitive industry, as
opposed to monopolies, because of the very large number of competitive
It is the high productivity, efficiency and
competitiveness of the American family farms that has been the major
hedge against inflation.
Supply and demand (see any economics
textbook for a full explanation of this concept) is the cornerstone of
free enterprise, yet much of "the farm problem" results from
manipulated imbalances between the vagaries of "supply" and the
imminence of "demand." Thus the farmer has no way of receiving a stable
monetary return on his essentially risky investment.
As two former Secretaries of Agriculture explained this point:
have talked about the farm problem in this country for at least 40
years," stated Clifford Hardin in 1969. "The basic difficulty stems
from our ability to produce more than we can sell domestically and
abroad." Orville Freeman added, "We have always had a farm problem of
sorts. Initially, it was a problem of producing enough; now it's a
problem of producing too much." Today, the trend may be reverting back
to scarcity again.
History of the Farm Problem
1900, agriculture the world over had a problem of producing enough food
to get by. After 1920, however, American agriculture was capable of
producing too much. As Orville Freeman said, each extreme of food
production reflected "the farm problem" of its day, but that golden
transition period, 1900 to 1920, was a time in which the right number
of farmers produced the right amount of food at the right price. It was
the "Golden Age of Agriculture."
The "Golden Age" peaked in
World War I with war demands putting an artificial inflation on food
supplies and prices. In 1920, a flash depression struck America's
business, as often happens soon after a war. Business overcame it
within a year, but agriculture did not. Farmers lost their European
food market, produced "too much," and prices plummeted downward more
than 50 percent. Farmers feverishly produced more so they could earn
more, but that only drove prices lower.
Since America was still
heavily rural, the agricultural depression slowly migrated from poor
farmers to richer factory workers. As one plow company executive said
at the time: "You can't sell a plow to a busted customer." According to
many scholars, the seeds of the 1929 crash were found in this "farm
By 1930, the sickness in agriculture had spread to the
rest of the economy. In 1932, cotton sold for 6<t a pound, pork for
4C a pound, wheat at 38<t a bushel, and corn for 32<t. Nearly
15,000 banks closed their doors, but for every bank that went broke,
more than 100 farms went bankrupt first. Foreclosures on farms
increased from 20,000 in 1919 to more than 250,000 per year in 1933.
Government Farm Programs
1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the U. S. Congress saw "the
farm problem" as being overabundant crops at low prices, and they
launched the U. S. Government on a program of crop subsidies and
controls to regulate plantings. Over 40 years later, this subsidy
program continued to lavish large funds to large farm operators, while
forcing smaller family farms off the map. This was hardly the
Senator Abraham Ribicoff expressed majority
sentiments recently when he said: "For three decades, under Republican
and Democratic administrations alike, we've allowed this
subsidy-and-control program to become a self-perpetuating empire,
almost with a mind and ambition of its own. Farmers don't like it. Tax
payers and consumers stagger under its weight. It doles out billions to
people who don't need help, and dribbles pittances to people who do."
Thankfully, many of these programs are being phased out.
academic analysis was given in Economics, by McConnell. "... The farm
program has failed to get at the cause of the farm problem. Public
policy toward agriculture is designed to treat symptoms and not
causes.... It is to be emphasized that production restriction programs
are in substance a government-sponsored attempt to give some measure of
monopoly power to the last major industry in American capitalism which
approximates pure competition. Restricting supply in relation to demand
in order to increase receipts is the stock-in-trade of the monopolist.
And this is precisely what the farm program has attempted to do in
seeking to solve the surplus problem" (p. 623). Really, our farm
surpluses were imported.
Farm income in 1973 set an all-time
record, yet total farm income statistics of a country as large and
varied as the U. S. hides most of the income instability of regions and
individual farms. The floods over the Plains and the blizzards in the
Rockies contributed to the death of over 250,000 head of beef cattle in
1973, worth close to half a billion dollars.
The Anatomy of a Steak
sudden rise of beef prices in 1973 triggered a housewives' boycott of
beef. Some few took the time to study the situation to find out why
beef was scarce, but most beef eaters assumed that scalpers all along
the way were profiting at the consumer's expense. A look at the many
steps necessary in the evolution of a steak, however, put these "young
wives' tales" to rest.
A cow produces only one calf each year
(at best). In 1970, 37 million beef cows dropped 29 million calves, of
which seven million were kept by ranchers for herd replacements, 2.7
million calves died in infancy, and 300,000 died during their first
year. This leaves only 19 million new beef cattle each year for market.
The calf nurses for six months, is weaned and pastured for another four
to six months, is moved to a feedlot for six months, then sold to a
packer for slaughter.
One calf to market requires 2500 lbs. of
grain, 450 lbs. of protein supplement, and 12,300 lbs. of hay, silage,
and pasture (plus tremendous investments of labor and capital) before
he reaches a marketable weight of 1,000 lbs. From that half-ton animal,
the packer can sell only 615 lbs. of dressed carcass to the retailer,
who in turn trims off 183 pounds of fat and bone, leaving only 432 lbs.
of steaks, roasts and hamburger.
In 1972 and 1973, due to
weather and the Russian wheat deal, feed grain prices jumped 82% in one
year, and other feedstuff's jumped 230% in the same year. Feed costs
account for almost 80% of the total cost of fattening beef. The second
largest expense is interest rates, which shot up to 10% in 1973. It's
no wonder then that meat, milk and eggs temporarily shot upward in
price in 1973.
The Banker as Investment Speculator
may have no desire to become farmers, and vice versa, but the financial
operation of capital expenses and interest rates is as closely
connected to farming as to any other self-employed profession. The
Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station recently published the results
of an eye-opening economic study showing just how much capital a young
man needs in order to realize a modest $15,000 per year profit.
study showed that the capital needs would range from $250,000 for an
"average" 480-acre corn-swine farm in eastern Nebraska, to $1,765,000
for a 22,000 acre cow-calf ranch in northern Nebraska — just to earn
$15,000 a year.
Since most young farmers don't possess such a
windfall, a large part of a farmer's costs of production are fixed
debts, such as interest and mortgage debt, property taxes and equipment
contracts. Farmers are therefore very vulnerable to any weather upset
or general fall in price level, because they are heavy debtors, short
of capital and unable for the most part to hedge their investments
against any contingency.
To compound their "capital problem,"
most farmers must wait years for their investments to begin to pay.
Most crops require a year to plant and harvest, livestock require from
one to three years, fruit-bearing trees take a decade or longer, and
farm woodlots and forestry undertakings take even longer.
Death and Taxes
the saying goes, "There's nothing as sure as death and taxes." In the
case of the farmer, the two are intertwined — taxes are killing him!
The graduated income tax particularly penalizes the farmer, whose
income is widely variable from year to year. Farmers in many areas only
have one good crop year out of three, so the taxes during his one good
year wipe out the cash buffer he needs for the two lean years.
The capital gains tax is another problem. This adds to the
speculator's incentive to buy farmland as an investment (for a tax
write-off) rather than for growing food. This accentuates the rise in
land values and tends to remove land from the hands of owner-operators
(farmers) and into the hands of absentee landowners (speculators) whose
sole aim is to profit from buying, holding, and selling nonproductive
The inheritance tax is a double-death blow to many
farmers. The tax on an inheritance can be up to 77% of the worth of the
inheritance. Since the "estate" is usually composed of relatively fixed
assets (land, machinery, buildings and stores), potential inheritors
face the back-breaking problem of assembling enough cash to pay the tax
on what would rightfully be theirs by the biblical law of land
inheritance. It's no wonder the majority of farm children leave the
farm for the city, thus losing $100 billion in farm assets each
generation in favor of tax collectors, bankers, and speculators.
tax is yet another burden putting a special squeeze on the farmer.
Property taxes have shot up from $450 million to $3,000 million between
1940 and 1971, taking an increased cut of the farmer's net income, from
10% in 1940 to 17% in 1971. Even if land is idle, property taxes drain
the land of its potential cash resources. Since all land "improvements"
increase taxes, this is a further incentive to let land deteriorate.
the Lake States, for instance, timber land that was taxed according to
the market value of the standing timber was taxed so high that the
owners had to cut the timber to pay the taxes, and divert the land into
farming. But the land was marginal for farming, so the owners went
bankrupt. And the land further lost its nutrients by erosion attacking
the unprotected soil. The land then reverted into the hands of state
and local government, due to foreclosure for delinquent taxes.
and other instances of the over-rapid development of land and the
overtaxation of marginal farmland result from the fact that property
tax as used in the U. S. is often based on capital values rather than
on current income from the land, which is the basis of the biblical
the answer to "the farm problem" lie in the collectivization of
agriculture? There are many world examples to show it isn't! Marxist
governments have assumed that agriculture, like any other industry,
could be readily organized on a large scale under state control. The
Communists, so far, have paid dearly for this misunderstanding. Lack of
incentive caused food shortages which have become a drain on their
economies and overall wealth. The decision to organize agriculture on a
large-scale authoritarian collective farming system has cost the
Communist countries literally billions of dollars in lost income.
this should be a warning to the United States and other essentially
free economies against the perils of monopolistic control, but Western
Europe's "free" economy is rapidly going the way of socialized
agriculture, much to its harm. The Common Agricultural Policy (C.A.P.)
of the European Economic Community (E.E.C.) set minimum price levels
for many key farm commodities. This encouraged over-production of some
farm products (such as butter) at high prices, which in turn forced
European governments to spend up to two-thirds of then-national budgets
on farm subsidies and resulted in hard-to-dispose-of surpluses. Free
world trade without a world parity system does not solve the problem
either. The recent "Russian grain deal" triggered a gigantic wave of
speculator activity and large-scale panic buying, which in turn caused
wild market fluctuations. Some made huge profits but many lost,
including the American farmer and consumer. Some of the wheat sold to
Russia at about $1.60 per bushel was resold by them to other
governments at $4.65 per bushel.
Solutions to "the Farm Problem"
So far, this booklet has stressed a descriptive analysis of the three major problems in American agriculture: quantity,
quality and economics. To most farmers, the "economic crisis" described
in this chapter is the heart of "the farm problem," while the "quantity
crisis" is the outside world's farm problem. The "quality problem" is
represented by the national decline in health.
There are some
piecemeal solutions available to mankind for the amelioration of these
grave problems. But the purpose of this booklet is not to explain how
subsidies, taxes, weather control, seed quality, grain distribution and
government controls should be handled. Many agricultural colleges,
including our own Ambassador College Agricultural Department in Big
Sandy, Texas, have a sufficient amount of information about short-term
soil improvement and farm management programs.
The purpose of
this booklet, however, is to describe the ultimate solution provided by
the Creator of the earth in His "handbook for Planet Earth," the Holy
Bible. When these guidelines are applied totally to a whole nation — as
they were in the past, and as they will be again in the future — these
laws provide for the ultimate solution to mankind's agricultural ills.
following chapter describes these ultimate solutions, as they apply to
food quality, quantity and economics. Despite the horrendous state of
current world agriculture, there is fantastic hope for the future!
THE GOVERNMENT CRISIS: The Land and the Book
farm problems described in the previous three chapters are not only the
fault of individual farmers, specific government programs, or
particular industrial chemicals. The fault also lies with an intangible
system of government which rules all lands and peoples. It is a world
system based on the way of getting for self; it is a world against God
and His laws of agriculture; it is Satan's world!
God owns the
land. In the beginning, God created the earth as a challenge for man to
rightfully manage, to build character in preparing to become a son of
God. The use of land (to "dress and keep" the Garden of Eden) was and
still should be man's primary occupation (Gen. 2:15). God undoubtedly
spent many hours with the first man, Adam, giving him instructions
about the proper ways to keep the land healthy, productive and
By now, nearly 6,000 years later, it must be obvious
that mankind has "multiplied," but he has failed to "replenish the
earth." Rather, man has mismanaged his birthright planet, and
squandered its resources. Experts of every discipline are increasingly
pessimistic about the earth's chances to survive the twentieth century.
The land is seemingly under a curse.
The handwriting is on the wall — unless mankind accepts revealed knowledge.
The Creator God has revealed knowledge of His spiritual
laws, which were perfectly designed to produce happiness, peace of mind
and the abundant life. These laws provide a foundation for all
God's law is His character codified, His way of life in print, His revealed blueprint for mankind's greatest fulfillment.
Agriculture is of primary importance within this godly system of law.
Revealed to Patriarchs
and his sons were the first farmers. Virtually all the Old Testament
patriarchs were also farmers, trained personally in many cases by God
Himself. "And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a
vineyard" (Gen. 9:20). "And Abram [Abraham] was very rich in cattle, in
silver, and in gold" (Gen. 13:2). "Then Isaac sowed in that land ...
for he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds ..." (Gen.
Jacob, Joseph and Moses were all at some time in
their lives "agriculturists." All of these men walked and talked with
God, face to face, and received agricultural instruction from Him. When
God formed a nation out of the sons of Jacob, God gave instructions to
the new nation, through Moses, on how to use the land to reap the most
These laws, given through Moses, include the
great immutable spiritual law of the Ten Commandments, and the statutes
and judgments for civil national laws governing the conduct of the
ancient Israelite nation. Although the Ten Commandments apply in
principle to land usage, the laws relating specifically to agriculture
are found in this second body of laws, the statutes and judgments.
original statutes — like the spiritual Ten Commandments — are not some
ritualistic regulations for the Mosaic period only. They are not a part
of the animal sacrifices and oblations which were "done away with" by
the sacrifice of Christ (Daniel 9:27). The statutes are laws created
with perfect predesign to produce good results for any nation who will
follow them. (Obviously nations are not following them today.) These
laws, among other things, govern health, economics and agriculture.
They provide for blessings if obeyed, and curses if disobeyed. And they
reflect the great law of love in the exercise of service toward mankind
and toward God.
The Land Sabbath
among these agricultural statutes is the land sabbath: "... When you
come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath
unto the Lord. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou
shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the
seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for
the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard"
God anticipated their first reaction, and the
same would be true today should a nation's leaders insist that a land
sabbath be kept. "If ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year?
behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: Then I will
command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring
forth fruit for three years" (verses 20-21). God is a diversified
agriculturist (see Deuteronomy 32:13-14 and Proverbs 27:23-27), and he
taught Israel to be the same way; therefore a farmer resting his crop
lands would still enjoy meat, milk, eggs, wheat, fruit, dry vegetables
and other volunteer garden greens during the seventh-year land sabbath,
as well as a triple blessing on sixth-year crops.
information regarding the seventh year is found in Exodus 23:10-11:
"... Let it rest and lie still." The opposite of working the land is to
"let it rest," and the opposite of tilling it is to let it "lie still."
This law therefore helps guard against soil depletion by helping check
erosion, by encouraging more plant and root growth, and by enabling the
land to build and restore plant food used and not returned during the
previous six years.
The seventh-year law also provides some
additional time for repair and maintenance of buildings and grounds,
fences, equipment, and for planning the next six years' operations. In
ancient Israel, however, the seventh year meant much more than that. It
was also a "year of release" for slaves and debtors.
shall be the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought
unto his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his
neighbor, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord's release.
Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with
thy brother thine hand shall release; save when there shall be no poor
among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the
Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it" (Deut.
Additionally: "And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an
Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the
seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou
sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:
thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy
floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God
hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him" (verses 12-14).
six years of working for someone else, everyone is offered an
opportunity to try it on his own if desired, and with a "nest egg."
This system of land inheritance guaranteed a continuing physical
life-support occupation for families and slaves generation after
generation. Absentee ownership was discouraged, and land grabbing or
empire building were prohibited and impossible, since God Himself
divided all the land by tribes and families from the beginning.
a man or his family were poor managers of the land, or failed in
operating their inheritance, they were given a "fresh start" every 50
years (Lev. 25:10-16) in the Jubilee Year. This was a further measure
to cut down land-grab-bing absentee landlords from building real estate
empires. "Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to
field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the
midst of the earth!" (Isa. 5:8.) Again, here is a land law which, if
obeyed as a nation, would solve major agricultural, social and economic
Taxation vs. Tithing
Today's governments require twenty, thirty, and even fifty percent of their people's incomes in taxation: income tax;
sales tax; federal, state, county, city, and local taxes; and various
hidden taxes. This taxation, averaging one-third of all income in most
Western nations, yields only a fairly inefficient and corrupt
bureaucracy which frustrates its citizens.
God's law, however,
reveals a tithing system that requires only about 10 percent of the
family income to finance the operation of church and state. God's way
is so "simple" (a straight percentage) that almost nobody thinks it
will work. Each nation has rejected this revealed system of taxation;
and they are being cursed with higher rates of tax which buy less.
all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the
fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord ....
whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the
Lord. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he
change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change
thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed" (Lev. 27:30-33).
the Prophet Malachi, God asks us as individuals and as nations: "Will a
man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed
thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have
robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the
storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now
herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows
of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room
enough to receive it" (Mai. 3:8-10).
Statutes on Livestock and Food
is another of God's basic laws on animal husbandry and agriculture: "Ye
shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a
diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither
shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee" (Lev.
Hybridization of plants and animals "seems good" to man,
but the long-range results, after many generations, have not proven to
be optimum. This is why God, the Creator of plants and animals, reveals
this knowledge. Mankind need not experiment, test, and document
hybridization, since God revealed to man that the long-range effects
are not best. (However, this does not mean we are saying that all
hybrid herds and crops should be immediately liquidated. But to move
toward upgrading crossbreeds [hybrids] by the use of quality purebred
sires [or seed] of the dominant breed [or variety] is highly desirable.
Cross breeding with high quality purebred stock produces no advantage
or hybrid vigor if there are no recessive weaknesses to cover up.)
sound selective breeding practices are maintained, both quantity and
quality of production can be improved and can last indefinitely. God's
laws are for man's lasting benefit. "And God said," in the beginning,
"Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit
tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the
earth: and it was so" (Gen. 1:11). God felt strongly enough about "kind
after kind" that He repeated the phrase "after its kind" ten times in
the first chapter of the Bible.
God promises: "If ye walk in my
statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you
rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the
trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall
reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing
time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land
safely" (Lev. 26:3-5).
"And if ye shall despise my statutes, or
if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my
commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto
you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning
ague [fever], that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart:
and ye shall sow your seed in vain .... and I will make your heaven as
iron, and your earth as brass.... and destroy your cattle, and make you
few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate" (verses 15-16, 19,
We don't want these curses, but we do exactly what God says
will eventually bring them about. We disobey His statutes, including
In the future, after these curses strike in
full force, God's statutes will be obeyed, in spite of man! "... And
your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land
enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your
enemies' land: even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths"
The REAL "Farm Problem"
true farm problem is the same as the city problem, the national
problem, and the world problem — man's selfish attitudes and man's
wrong government. As long as man's nature, with its tendency to tear
down, exploit, take to self and destroy, is allowed to dominate man's
governmental systems there is no hope for agriculture, nor for the
malnourished, hungry and starving masses of our world.
history, man has cut down the forests, overgrazed the pastures, and
"mined" the earth's croplands — with hardly a thought given to
replacing, rebuilding, restoring, and replenishing the earth's limited
resources. With very few exceptions, land use has been synonymous with
The good news is that the evils of human nature will
soon be dominated by an outside power. Jesus Christ is soon coming back
to Planet Earth! This time He is coming as King of kings and Lord of
lords (Rev. 19:16). At the very climax of world troubles (Matt. 24:22),
a strong world government is going to be established — divine
government, the government of God, the Kingdom of God — and it shall
stand forever (Dan. 2:44).
Jesus Christ will solve "the farm
problem," first by changing the present world rulership, and then by
altering the human heart: "A new heart also will I give you, and a new
spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out
of your flesh.... And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to
walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them"
Agriculture in the World Tomorrow
What will be the result of obedience to God's laws? Again in Ezekiel 36:
I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and
bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates
[inheritances], and will do better unto you than at your beginnings
.... And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the
garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become
fenced, and are inhabited" (verses 11, 35).
A large percentage
of the world's populace will live on prosperous family-sized farms.
There will be rain in due season. Hunger and malnutrition will be a
thing of the past. Literally everyone in every land will be able to
enjoy fresh, clean, wholesome, tasty, nutritious food — grain and nuts,
meat and dairy products, and fruits and vegetables in unbelievable
variety and abundance. Man will work in harmony with God's laws.
they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together
to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and
for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as
a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all" (Jer.
Agricultural shortages or surpluses will no longer be a
farm "problem": "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the
plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the trea-der of grapes him that
soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills
shall melt" (Amos 9:13).
Within the coming few decades, mankind
will enjoy stable economic prosperity, radiant health, and a sense of
satisfaction, accomplishment and fulfillment in life. There is a
fantastic hope for the 21st century. Wonderful good news is around the
corner in tomorrow's world. Jesus Christ will soon return to establish
a new world order.
The following books present the challenges faced by agriculture today.
The Closing Circle, Barry Commoner; Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Famine — 19751, William Paddock and Paul Paddock;
Brown and Co. The Hungry Planet, Georg Borgstrom; Collier Books. Ill
Fares the Land, Dan P. Van Gorder; Western Islands. Population,
Resources, Environment, Paul R. Ehrlich and
Anne H. Ehrlich; W. H. Freeman and Co. A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold; Ballantine Books, Inc.
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson; Fawcett World Library. Since Silent Spring, Frank Graham, Jr.; Fawcett World Library.
The Wastes of Civilization, J. C. Wylie; Faber & Faber, Ltd.
Those books listed below will help in understanding soil life and laws of soil fertility.
Agricultural Testament, Sir Albert Howard; Oxford University Press (1
943) and Rodale Press (1 972). Introduction to Soil Microbiology,
Martin Alexander; John
Wiley & Sons, Inc. The Living Earth,
Peter Farb; Harper & Row. Organic Gardening & Farming, Joseph
A. Cocannouer; Arco
Publishing Co., Inc. The Soil and Health,
Sir Albert Howard; Devin-Adair. (Of particular interest to livestock
farmers.) Soil Development, Edward H. Faulkner; University of Oklahoma
Soil Fertility and Animal Health, William Albrecht; Fred
Hahne Printing Co. Soil Fertility and Fertilizers, Samuel L. Tisdale and G. E. Nelson; The Macmillan Co.
Soil: Use and Improvement, J. H. Stallings; Prentice-Hall, Inc.
The Web of Life, John H. Storer; New American Library Weeds: Guardians of the Soil, Joseph A. Cocannouer; Devin-Adair.
Your Garden Soil, R . M. Carleton; Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
The books which follow survey gardening and farming and offer helps in correcting many of the associated problems.
Acres, U.S.A., monthly newspaper; Charles Walters, Jr., editor.
The Bug Book, John and Helen Philbrick, P. 0. Box 96, Wilkinsonville, Mass., 01590.
Companion Plants and How To Use Them, Helen Philbrick and Richard Gregg; Devin-Adair.
Complete Book of Composting, Jerome I. Rodale, Rodale Press, Inc.
Food, Farming and the Future, Friend Sykes; Faber & Faber, Ltd.
Gardening With Nature, Leonard Wickenden; Devin-Adair.
Gardening Without Poisons, Beatrice T. Hunter; Berkley Publishing Co.
How To Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back, Ruth Stout; Cornerstone Library, Inc.
Malabar Farm, Louis Bromfield; Ballantine Books, Inc.
Natural Poultry Keeping, Jim Worthington; Crosby Lockwood & Son, Ltd.
Organic Farming, Hugh Corley; Faber & Faber, Ltd.
Organic Gardening and Farming, monthly magazine; Rodale Press Inc.
The Organic Way to Plant Protection, Jerome I. Rodale; Rodale Press, Inc.
Step-by-Step to Organic Vegetable Growing, Samuel Ogden; Rodale Press, Inc.
The Stockman's Handbook, M. E. Ensminger; Interstate Printers & Publishers, Inc.
Worldwide Church of God publishes many colorful, informative booklets
on a wide range of biblical topics. Four are listed below:
Why Were You Born?
humanity created and put here on earth by an intelligent and Almighty
Creator for a definite purpose? And if so, what is that purpose — and
why is humanity so totally unaware of it?
Does God Exist?
Can the existence of God be logically proven? Where did the first life come from? Can we know whether God possesses mind power?
The Ten Commandments
the Ten Commandments obsolete in today's chaotic world? Or are they as
applicable now as they were when God gave them on Mount Sinai? Here is
a book explaining plainly this inexorable living law — soon to become
the basic law of the peaceful, prosperous, joyful World Tomorrow.
This is The Worldwide Church of God
is the true story of a unique Church that has found the solution for
the world's ills, and puts it into a living application that is
producing a harvest of peace, happiness and abundant well-being