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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default please excuse this little rant

    For anyone reading this, please excuse this little rant Iím about to make. OUR environment is changing. Iím not referring to ďclimate changeĒ as everyone is so focused on and wasting time and money on. Iím referring to our natural area and environment we currently live in. Things are changing, our environment is in a transformation where every aspect of it through out the growing season is being manipulated to the point where everything natural about it is being lost. Itís the clearing of arable land, and the clearing of non arable land, clearing and drainage of swamps and leveling out of ravines to allow machinery to travel over. Massive water drainage projects where we
    run off the surface water as fast as we can, drain the sub surface water year round into ditches and pump deep water reserves to irrigate our crops. Itís the blanket use of insecticides not once but up to five times a season to protect the crop from pests, the use of fungicides to everything that is growing and the use of highly efficient herbicides leaving nothing else growing within the fields but the crop its self. Itís this expansion of our fields and intensively managed mono culture that is in a way creating a living desert in areas which should flourish with life and diversity. We are/have set up an ecosystem that is so fragile that anything natural within it is always on the brink of survival. And when we experience harsh weather as we did this last spring nobody notices the actual devastating effect it had on the living environment around them.

    We are managing honeybees to take the place of natural pollinators to pollinate our cropping requirements. Here in again we bring in a manageable solution to solve our manged problems. But things are getting so far out of hand that we infact are even having trouble managing our managed pollinators. Why??? Because everything we do as beekeepers is directly influenced by the environment around us. That environment around us is being destroyed, and because of that my bees are struggling. If we donít change the way we perceive and respect the natural environment, our managed environment will collapse and with that all of us around it. This focus on climate change has blinded the public to the actual environmental threats at home, tangible actions that we could be focusing our attention on which would actually go a long way in preserving our lands and creating a sustainable working environment for all of us to live in.

    We manage land, lots of land, I appreciate everything that is done to make a living off the land and the hardships that are involved in managing the land. I understand the reason why we use production practices to improve our bottom dollar and understand the reason why we must realize short sightedness sometimes is the only managing stratagy which allows us to keep in business. BUT we also appreciate our natural environment and try our best to preserve the land in a sustainable fashion. On our farm we have 500 acres left as natural raven, not pastured or pushed, leveled, drained and cropped! On our farm we have ten quarters of muskeg wet land bush, managed as pasture but grazed in a fashion which does not destroy its wet land ecosystem. On our farm we manage 3000 acres of crop land, on land which will carry equipment and anything else is hayed. We zero till or minimal till the land to protect the soil structure and everything living in it. Wet land ďpot holesĒ are left as they are, hill side springs and field runs are hayed to eliminate erosion and low lands are left as grass, using the available water resource and cut later in the year as hay.

    There has to be a place for agriculture on the lands or we will all starve, but agriculture has to manage itself in a diverse fashion using the lands as it presents itself to allow all living things to flourish. I feel very fortunate as a beekeeper to be able to shelter my operation around our farm, as it reinforces diversity and provides that for my bees to live on. EVERYWHERE else on the countryside I am seeing a complete wipe down of anything natural.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kenosha,WI
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Very well said, Ian. That hits home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Platteville, WI
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    134

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Thanks for posting, Ian.
    "Life will find a way - it always finds a way." -Jurassic Park (MOVIE/BOOK)
    USDA Zone 5a

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Winston Salem , NC
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    And the poison in the seed !
    larry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lebanon Pa
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    speak the truth !!!!!!! it is sad that people don't know or care I guess that almost every action that they take effects the earth in a good way or more often bad we need to start taking more care to try and do anything you can to help the world out DOWN WITH MONSANTO EVERYONE GO NON GMO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Dell Rapids, SD
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Very well said Ian.

    I live in the middle of corn country USA, and am surprised at the anti-ethanol ads shown on TV now.

    People are tiling everything, pushing in groves, tearing out fences, and turning everything they can into corn production.

    Good Job!

    DJ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Skiff, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    586

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Quote Originally Posted by mnbeekeeper View Post
    well said ian, well said. it seems like a step we could take is to stop giving the farmers so much money. also what if we said for every 100 acres tilled there must be x amount of land sitting natural. seem like that would be a good first step. i know that no one wants to be told what to do with their land, but this farming is outa control.

    some one i know was just out in the oil field boom in north dakota. he said boy are they destroying the land up there. nothing was regulated. so much is being destroyed, but he said, if you like paying 3.75 at the pump vs. 10$ a gal. then you cant complain.

    i hate that i feel like i know what is wrong with the world but how can we change it.

    honestly i know this is horrible but i always think when a natural disaster strikes and lots of people die well thats just mother earths way of cleaning up the bottom board!!
    Obviously you are not a farmer or an oilfield worker. I am a farmer and specifically what tell us more about the farmer getting too much money.
    Every winter I drive a water truck out of Parshall ND. It has been my experience that the land has not been destroyed. Do you have any first hand experience that makes you eligible to comment on these two subjects?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    dennison MN
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Do you have any first hand experience that makes you eligible to comment on these two subjects?[/QUOTE]

    actually i do. my girl friends dad is a excavator. he works for a lot of farmers in my area. they are his childhood friends. he was a farmer. he quit right before it turned around. still has the land, rents it. his buddies are all rich farmers now. they hire him to do dumb ass jobs like ian says, level it, fill it in and make it drain. they get govnt money to harm this great state of MN. they are changing it by making spiecies go extinct. and polluting the ground water slowly and many other things. actually i do think we need population control and i am practicing it. im sure i will have one child but not 3 4 or more. why would i want to bring more people into a over crowded earth. the worst part is our goverment is set up so that the stupid people are breeding the most. they get money the more stupid kids they have the more money they get. maybe i am negative or just a mean person but its the way it all seems to me. i do not know how to see it any other way. i may not be that smart, but im not that ignorant.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,576

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Perhaps a ravine.

    ravine [rəˈviːn]
    A deep narrow valley or gorge in the earth's surface worn by running water.

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ravine
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    6,480

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    thats it, ravine , not raven, sorry
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Delta, Utah
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Farmers in the states have been overpaid for the past several years. Ever since the government started subsidizing ethanol. That's why everything is going into corn which in turn hurts the beekeepers. Our food prices have also soared since this started. I don't blame the farmers. I'm sure most beekeepers wouldn't complain if the government subsidized the turning of honey into fuel and it went from $2.00/LB to $6.00/LB either. Beekeepers would get rich but it wouldn't be good for anyone else.
    -Rob Bliss
    Bliss Honey and bee supplies

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    dennison MN
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Quote Originally Posted by pahvantpiper View Post
    Farmers in the states have been overpaid for the past several years. Ever since the government started subsidizing ethanol. That's why everything is going into corn which in turn hurts the beekeepers. Our food prices have also soared since this started. I don't blame the farmers. I'm sure most beekeepers wouldn't complain if the government subsidized the turning of honey into fuel and it went from $2.00/LB to $6.00/LB either. Beekeepers would get rich but it wouldn't be good for anyone else.


    thank you for agreeing the farmers are over paid.

    i dont blame individual familys that farm. i just think the whole idea of such mass farming has gotten outa control.

    would it be so bad tho if beekeepers were over paid. i mean what would our bees destroy if there were to many bees other then staving themselves to death. thats the big difference. bees are good for mother earth. mass farming is not.

    most beekeepers that i know, well if they had the land and the money that the farmers around here had, they would let it all grow wild with flowers and creatures. and that would be so wonderful.

    i find myself often driving around the countryside wondering what this great land looked like when the first settlers showed up. what a beautiful place this must have been. now look at it. how do others not think the way i do. do you people not see this is not going to work out. none of it is sustainable.

    i do agree there is good money to be made in beekeeping, like keith said.

    but there is no balance. its getting so hard to keep bees. who will do it in the future. most of my friends would never work this hard. my generation is the make a fast buck and dont lift a finger type. and bees dont stay alive with that business model.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    28,064

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    How many acres in total are under your control?
    Last edited by Barry; 07-23-2013 at 10:05 PM. Reason: quoting
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    How many acres in total are under your control?
    Id say 5000 acres or so total, including all we manage
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #15
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Id say 5000 acres or so total, including all we manage
    Not to get too personal, but how many of you are living off of that 5,000 acres? Just curious. Trying to understand what modern farming is like. My Grandpa Porter farmed 200 some acres in Iowa and raised 5 kids on it w/ my Uncle Gordon staying on w/ his family until 10 years after his parents died.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    6,480

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Not to get too personal, but how many of you are living off of that 5,000 acres? Just curious. Trying to understand what modern farming is like. My Grandpa Porter farmed 200 some acres in Iowa and raised 5 kids on it w/ my Uncle Gordon staying on w/ his family until 10 years after his parents died.
    Our family farm, all run together, parents, three brothers and my family. We raise 400 head of cattle , 900 hives and grain farm 3000 acres. Its enough to support us so far.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Skiff, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    586

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    So bottom line you don't have any first hand experience. Tell us about how the farmers are paid too much.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    1,536

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Haraga View Post
    ... Tell us about how the farmers are paid too much.
    I do not know how much is too much, but agriculture in US is heavily subsidized:
    "This week, House Republicans passed a rather unusual farm bill. There was no money for food stamps for the poor, a program that typically makes up the bulk of these bills. But the House did manage to pass billions in subsidies for farmers and agribusinesses."
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...arm-subsidies/

    I do not know how much from this comes in the farmer's pocket. Any idea?
    Серёжа, Sergey

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    I do not know how much is too much, but agriculture in US is heavily subsidized:
    "This week, House Republicans passed a rather unusual farm bill. There was no money for food stamps for the poor, a program that typically makes up the bulk of these bills. But the House did manage to pass billions in subsidies for farmers and agribusinesses."
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...arm-subsidies/

    I do not know how much from this comes in the farmer's pocket. Any idea?
    You might do a bit of research..... you will find out that over 70% of the farm bill is for FOOD STAMPS... a point city slickers like to ignore....

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    28,064

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    You might do a bit of research..... you will find out that over 70% of the farm bill is for FOOD STAMPS... a point city slickers like to ignore....
    Not the 2013 Farm Bill. Unless I missed something. Congress was so proud to have gotten something passed and it was said that the SNAP Program (aka Food Stamps) would be in another Bill.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



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