Editorial: Are we about to lose 'the farm'?

Editorial: Are we about to lose 'the farm'?

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The following is an editorial from FOX6 WBRC-TV General Manager Lou Kirchen, first aired on Tuesday, May 6, 2014:

My grandparents were farmers and their parents before them. I lived on my grandfather's farm until I was ten years old. What I learned early on is that everyone on the farm works, regardless of age, to insure that both the farm and the family survive.

As little more than a toddler, I had chores like picking the pin feathers from the Sunday dinner chicken, gathering eggs, pulling weeds in the garden and churning butter. Farming creates work from dawn to dusk, year-around, in every kind of weather, and much of it hard labor. You might not like some of the work that must be done, but you get it done. It requires constant care and repair, mending fences, taking care of the soil and protecting the seed corn and at the same time, learning what you need to do to adapt to make sure you are producing the crops that are marketable. If not, you lose the farm.

If we don't get our act together as a country, I think we are about to "lose the farm." We are being faced with many tough issues, and we are letting politics get in the way of facing them ... maybe, in some instances using politics and politicians as scapegoats rather than holding those politicians accountable and doing the hard work required.

We are one of the richest countries in the world, but we have an aging transportation system. Our roads and bridges, our railroads and ports are deteriorating. Our public education system is producing record numbers of drop-outs. Our students, even many of our best, rank behind several countries around the world in math and science. Traditional manufacturing, textile and agriculture jobs have disappeared and have been replaced with jobs that require skilled labor, but in many cases, without a prepared work force to fill those jobs. Our prisons are overflowing with our young, uneducated and forgotten.

Hey, we may be about to lose "the farm." So who do we blame?

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