A Strong Agriculture, the Foundation of a Free and Independent Nation

It is no coincidence that the decline of our liberty, wealth and independence coincides with the decline of agriculture in the American republic. Those who ponder the loss of their freedom, the inability to make ends meet and growing influence of internationalism and creeping socialism would be wise to notice the crumbling barns and empty fields around them.

From the very beginning, America’s founders realized that a strong and decentralized agriculture was essential for the maintenance of a free and independent republic. The reasons being many.

Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. they are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, & they are tied to their country & wedded to it’s liberty & interests by the most lasting bands. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Agriculture … is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals & happiness. ~ Thomas Jefferson in a letter to George Washington

First, the freeholder and small farmer was understood to be the guardian of liberty. Providing for his families most basic needs, the freeholder was not worried about “biting the hand that fed him”. He was his own man and guarded his precious rights of a free Englishmen, the birthright of the Magna Carta. His allegiance was first to God, second to his family and next to his country. The early American farmer had crossed an ocean and turned a wilderness into a garden, through blood, sweat and tears. He saw this, first and foremost, as a biblical mandate and the highest calling aside from being a minister of the Word. No one had stronger ties to the land, a stronger love for independence and civil liberty than the farmer. This of course is why collectivist tyrants throughout the ages, have first and foremost sought to destroy the independent farmer. Whether through regulation, taxation, economic warfare or simply murdering him…the freeholder must be eliminated before a free and independent people can be enslaved.

America’s founders understood that real wealth comes from the ground. The only real economic growth is that of agriculture. Without a strong agriculture, the national economy is built on lies, theft and fraud. Benjamin Franklin in his “Positions to be Examined” (April 4, 1769) made an very keen observation…

Finally, there seem to be but three Ways for a Nation to acquire Wealth. The first is by War as the Romans did in plundering their conquered Neighbours. This is Robbery. The second by Commerce which is generally Cheating. The third by Agriculture the only honest Way; wherein Man receives a real Increase of the Seed thrown into the Ground, in a kind of continual Miracle wrought by the Hand of God in his favour, as a Reward for his innocent Life, and virtuous Industry.

Today bankers create money (actually debt) out of thin air and then tell us it’s “wealth”. The moment that our people bought into this lie and ignored the real wealth creator, agriculture, was the moment that real wealth was sucked from their pockets and replaced with an IOU. When a cow eats grass and produces milk, this is economic growth. This is wealth creation. When a man plants a seed and it grows into a plant producing twenty seeds, this is wealth creation. When a banker creates money out of thin air, the value of your “wealth” decreases. You have been robbed and plundered. When market bubbles are inflated, the wealth is make believe. When the bubble pops, the loss is make believe. You either have an agrarian economy or one that is make believe.

Here is a fact that should be understood by all. Any nation that wishes to remain independent must be able to provide for itself, food and fiber. The strength of a nation, when the SHTF, comes down to the ability of that nation to feed and cloth itself. In the age of “free trade” we are told that this is of no concern. We are told that agriculture is an old and dirty occupation. We are told that we should buy these things from other countries (even our enemies) and not worry about doing it ourselves. What could possibly go wrong??? Anyone that tells you these things, whether they claim to be “conservative” or “liberal” are your enemies. As America produces less from the earth, it becomes more dependent and beholden to outside interests. First our economies are gutted through “free trade” pacts and treaties. The economic blocs such as the proposed North American Union gradually become political blocs with the end goal of merging the regional blocs into a centralized global government. Countries that import their food and fiber can easily be forced into going along. Starvation is powerful persuader.

What shall we do?

While the political machine has been used to destroy agrarianism through regulations, property taxes and legal tender laws; it would be fool hearted to spend all of our efforts to correct our trajectory in the political realm. Now, this is not to say we should not seek reforms when possible, especially at the local and county level. But the great need at present is a return of the people to the land. Reversing the trend of urbanization is key to regaining our liberty. As Jefferson wisely predicted, the nation would only remain free and prosperous if it remained agricultural and would fall into corruption if the mass of the people populated cities. The first step toward an agrarian restoration primarily rests on individual families taking steps toward self-sufficiency and returning to the rural areas. These families lead by example and help others to transition back to the land. Communities are formed and localism begins to take root once more. We must build up a resilient agriculture that is family scaled and less dependent on inputs. One that feeds itself and fuels it’s own region’s economy with real wealth and growth. It is a long row to hoe, but it must be done.

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17 thoughts on “A Strong Agriculture, the Foundation of a Free and Independent Nation

  • August 24, 2014 at 6:00 pm
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    Our county is talking about economic development right now, and whether and how to maintain our rural character (without really discussing WHAT a rural county is). They’re talking about economic diversity in the form of tourism, and getting some company to put a rebar factory here, and fracking. Currently our main source of money is the Navy base. Within the last few years, the last large dairy farm closed and is now a subdivision. Mom and pop shops are closing. Walmart moved in, and so have several chain restaurants.

    We have a farmer’s market that’s open Saturday morning from spring through Thanksgiving, but this is a geographically large county and it’s rather inconvenient. I keep forgetting it’s there, so I wind up visiting it once or twice a year, and Mike goes another time, maybe, if he happens to be running errands out that way before they close. One of the farms is a CSA but I never can remember to buy a share before they sell out. *sigh* I feel like an almost complete failure at this agrarian thing.

    But I wanted to ask you if you have any ideas for what to suggest to the county’s board of supervisors. What should be asking them to consider? Are there resources meant for county officials to help them know what’s possible? So much of the stuff that makes sense to me is regulated at the state level, and I can’t even figure out what the county government can do to make things better.

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  • August 25, 2014 at 1:26 am
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    Very well put, Scott. The thing that amazes me is the number of people who do not get this, even though it is so obvious. I think they fear the truth because it means they have to give up their comfortable, instant gratification lifestyles. No one wants to do that. Or at least very few do. They prefer to live in ignorance and believe a lie.

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  • August 25, 2014 at 3:20 am
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    I am just finishing a book about the Amish, and this farmer’s thoughts popped into my mind as I read your post. “Caring for the land, every day, is my way to be close to God. His land must be honored.” He also said, “Manure is our crucial crop. Tractors don’t make manure! A horse reproduce itself, and a tractor only makes debts.” Thanks for a thoughtful article. Praying for your knee and your vehicle.

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  • August 26, 2014 at 4:17 pm
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    Please allow me to discuss this with you for you truly have an article worth responding to. I was born and raised on a commercial farm operation in Georgia. There was a thing within me, for lack of a better way to put it, that told me almost from birth that the raping of the land going on around me was a grevious sin against God Himself. We live in His garden, rather we can admit it or not, or even if we can understand it or not, it is His garden and we are destroying it. I am an old man now, but back in the 1960s the sawmillers came through and all the farmers sold their timber [trees]. We had such enormous pines in those days: Now just two by four stilts grown by the paper companies. So sad. Later we cut down the remaining hardwoods and burned them just to put in pivot irrigation systems. I was also a cropduster and needless to say guilt is upon me for my trespasses. All we could think of in those days was to feed, feed, feed the world. And that is what we were taught by the Department of Agriculture. Fence row to fence row as they called it. Today, on a small sixteen by forty foot back yard with twelve planter boxes my wife and I are able to grow all, and we mean all, the food we need with some left over to give the neighbors. All of you please don’t be like me, spend your life at a job so you can buy food. Forget the frills, and remember God’s Word, “Wherein you have food and raiment, therein be content, for some have sought after more, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”. I am a man of sorrows. Sorrowful for not seeing the Light sooner and not living the simple life and enjoying the fruits of my labor in a much more acceptable to Christ fashion. May He forgive all of us for what we have done. Love and mercy be upon all of you.

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    • August 27, 2014 at 1:52 am
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      Mr. Grimes, I appreciate your life account. May it be used by God to turn many toward the way you commend. Thank you.

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  • August 26, 2014 at 4:37 pm
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    I really appreciated your article. There are many reasons to support local ag, keeping a local supply of food for food security, maintaining a social structure, keeping money in the local economy…

    Leigh, if you would like to help look at creating a local food hub, a central place that farmers could bring their goods that could be distributed to restaurants and stores.

    We have a small egg farm, and twice a week deliver eggs to some produce stores and a couple restaurants. This is not a huge en-devour, but we are trying to expand, adding more chickens and looking at what we can produce locally, effectively. I also work part time for a small raw milk dairy, making deliveries. The amount of effort and money that goes into getting what these two farms produce to market is huge.

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  • August 26, 2014 at 4:44 pm
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    Good article! I know that in the county I live in there are large family owned farms that are over 700 acres and use chemicals for fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides. I also know that there some dairy farms in the area use cattle manure to generate electricity before the manure is spread on the fields! There is also the concern of factory farms that use confined feeding operations to feed their animals and they tend to use a lot of antibiotics so the animals don’t get sick and that is developing antibiotic resistance and that this could be passed on to humans, That could develop a resistance in humans that could develop super bugs that need more potent drugs to cure us of desiese that we catch.

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  • August 26, 2014 at 8:11 pm
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    Sorry, I should have said “don’t” spend your life at a job so you can buy food. Grow it yourself. thanks

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  • August 26, 2014 at 11:54 pm
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    This is the most accurate, succinct, and yet thorough analysis I have read on a topic dear to my heart. Thanks Scott.

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  • August 27, 2014 at 11:37 am
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    Anyone who thinks making nice-nice agreements with our non allies (for lack of a better term) just needs to look to our space program. Oh, we don’t need the space shuttle program to get to the spacestation, Russia will take us there…..yea, we stop Putin from visiting Disney World and he stops us from getting to the spacestation. Who really lost in that deal?

    When you depend on others for your needs, you give away your own personal power and freedom. Better to be as self sufficient as possible. Awesome article.

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  • August 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm
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    Thanks Lisa, and Christ bless you!

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  • August 31, 2014 at 1:14 am
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    This is an excellent post. I especially appreciate the quote from Ben Franklin.

    No civilization can long survive if it is unable to feed itself. And as Wendell Berry has written, “Men are free precisely to the extent that they are equal to their own needs. The most able are the most free.”

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  • October 14, 2015 at 9:29 pm
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    No civilization can long survive if it is unable to feed itself. And as Wendell Berry has written, “Men are free precisely to the extent that they are equal to their own needs

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  • Pingback: The Consolidation and Collectivization of American Agriculture | The Backwoods Resistance

  • March 31, 2016 at 11:44 am
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    I think you might find this book interesting:A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America
    Farming/eating in our country looked quite different depending on where you were. Interesting thoughts that you shared here.

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  • February 14, 2017 at 6:06 pm
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    This is such a wonderful post. So very true. I got on here wanting to find the encouragement to keep on keepin’ on. The journey gets lonely at times. I found it. Thank you. Willard, thank you for your comment.

    Reply

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