The Importance of Agriculture and How Much a Farmer Really Makes

The Importance of Agriculture and How Much a Farmer Really Makes

Hi I’m Mike. Farmers and ranchers are in a business that
influences, even if you don’t realize it, everyone. In some shape or form. But at the same time there is a disconnect
growing larger and larger by the day between rural and urban communities and businesses,
leaving many farmers wondering if its even worth it. Today we take a look at what is happening
and how we can combat the issue and once again care about agriculture on our Wyoming life. Welcome back. This week I’ve been doing alot of checking
cows. It’s calving season and I’ve spent alot of
time in this gator. Just driving around and sometimes just sitting
and watching. While I’m out here I get a chance to read
and catch up on some industry news and today I figured I’d take advantage of a bit of a
lull and share with your what I’ve been reading about. I hope that this information resonates with
you a bit. I hope you think about it and I hope you share
it. Because for those of us that eat. This is a big deal. Cam Houle a dairy farmer said that farming
is the art of losing money while working 400 hours a month to feed people that think you
are trying to kill them. Farming here in Northeast Wyoming means ranching,
and that might be were the problem begins. If someone asked you to explain the difference
between a farm and ranch, would you be able to tell them? Some people use the terms farm and ranch interchangeably,
although there are specific differences, and some view farming as wholesome, while ranching
may stir up images of outlaws, rustlers or at the very least the slipshod cowboy. And really, although they can be very different,
the products of both end up at your grocery stores and eventually your dinner tables. Both farms and ranches can be small or large
lots of land, but they all are tended to by hard working individuals who care way more
than you may think. I’ve heard it said that all ranches are
farms, but not all farms are ranches. A farm is a term to describe a plot of land
that primarily focus on producing agriculture. They can produce from food to fuel to raw
materials like cotton. And although a farm is usually focused on
growing crops, diary farms, hog farms and poultry farms are popular types as well. Its been stated that farms are usually smaller
than ranches, but that doesn’t mean the workload is any different, in fact a ranch
is just a specific type of farm, ranches usually carry cattle or sheep and the primary focus
is the animals while at the same time farming the natural or seeded grasses of the country
side to feed those animals. So we go back and ask again, what’s the
difference between a farm and a ranch? And I am going to go out on a limb and say,
there is no difference. The goal of a farm or a ranch, 10 acres or
10 thousand is to provide for the masses, to take on that responsibility, and to do
it safely. In the 1890’s each farmer in the us grew
enough each year to feed on average 3 to 5 people, a hundred years later, in 1995 that
number had grown to each farmer feeding 128 people. We went from 90% of the population living
on farms to one percent. Today that number has grown even more, with
one US Farm annually feeding 165 people. The global population is expected to increase
to 9.7 billion by 2050, which means that between now and then, farmers are going to have to
grow about 70 percent more food than what is now produced. Food today that arrives at your dinner table
and your plate travels an average of 1500 miles, more than likely it was produced on
an industrial scale farm, in fact only 8 percent of us farms, market food locally. Corporations and industrial farms control
the global food system. The five largest supermarket companies control
46% of all food sales, that means they can take the risk and control the price and what
the farmer makes off his own product. American farmers continue to produce more
and more food, but receive less and less of each dollar spent at the retail level. A recently the farmers share of the retail
food market has hit an all time low, according to the USDA. For every dollar consumers spend on food,
the farmer receives just 14 cents and shows a decrease of 5 percent from last year. Beef producers received less than 2 dollars
per pound last year for beef that costs an average of 10 dollars at the grocery store
a 50% difference from only 4 years before. Wheat farmers, 12 cents on a loaf of bread
that costs 3.49 a drop of 25% and diary producers are receiving on average
1.34 from a 5$ gallon of milk, showing a loss of 20% since 2014. Food has become big business. The rest of the cost the consumers are paying
goes for what is called cost beyond the gate. Wages and material for production, processing,
marketing, transportation and distribution. While the CEO’s of the largest retail supermarkets
make salaries of 10 to 20 million per year, farmers and ranchers are finding themselves
struggling to deal with the stresses that continue to lean on them. From Antibiotics, to GMO’s to Hormones farmers
today are facing challenges when it comes to selling their products that those back
in the 1800’s would have never dreamed of all the while being pressured to produce more
with less. Where is the breaking point? When will the system collapse? Because the course its on now will not sustain
the added stress. There is a better way, and that is going to
come from the consumer, citizens and elected officials, not powerful multinational corporations
taking control of trade policies, informing the public where their food is grown and who
benefits. We need to favor family owned sustainable
farms, fair prices and local food systems, but its much easier said than done. Country of origin labeling ensures that consumers
can make informed decisions about their food purchases and help them support domestic producers
if they want to. Bills that ensure farmers a fair price in
which taxpayers are not feeding a lopsided subsidy system and good things like community
food projects such as farmers markets. Programs like farmers markets and community
supported agriculture build local food systems by purchasing products direct from local and
regional farmers and keep money circulating in local communities. In fact, one state’s agricultural agency,
Vermont, stated that if consumers shifted just 10% of their food purchases to locally
grown food products, it would add more than 100 million dollars to the states economy. USA today says that the average family of
4 spends nearly 800$ per month on groceries., if only 80$ of that was spent on the local
level, that could make a huge difference. But lets be realistic, finding a local produce,
meat or milk supplier is hard. It might mean an extra few minutes of your
time, or a little more in gas. Plus you may not find what you are looking
for, our daughter Mackenzie is still looking for the farmer that raises M&M’s and I doubt
she will ever find him. Is it important to you, because I guarantee
its important to the farmer. The food he strives to feed your family, is
the same he feeds his own. He’s not out to kill you, in fact, he may
be the only one who is really looking out for you. Our local food business started small but
I am proud to say that we are part of the 8% of US farms that market locally, its not
easy but it is worth it. Local sales buy our kids clothes, and put
money away for education and support everything we do. If you are producing and not selling locally,
I would encourage you to do so, even a small percentage, because the benefits are amazing. By selling locally, we set our prices, meet
the consumer face to face and build relationships the build toward a healthier food system. Thanks for coming along today and sharing
something that needs said. We are all a part of a team that is important
to the health and stability of our nation. From the teacher to the fireman to yes, the
farmer. No one is more important than the other, but
take one away and the whole system suffers. Please subscribe as we continue to explore
the ranch life and strive to bring those closer to agriculture and the families behind it. If you would like to know more, go to facebook,
and sign up for the group all things agriculture, talk to the producers that make the food and
those that support industry, ask questions and if you have answers, you can help others
learn. Join us on Tuesday once again as calving continues,
we have a storm front moving in and that always means that things are going to get very interesting
around here over the next week. Until then have a great week and thanks for
joining us in our Wyoming life.

100 thoughts on “The Importance of Agriculture and How Much a Farmer Really Makes

  • Thank you very much for watching this video as this an issue very near and dear to our heart. You will rarely hear me plead for you to do something, but with this video I am asking, sincerely, that you share it as much as you can. That is the only way that anything will change in today's climate. When you share, you never know where it may end up, and the hope is that the people who see it can help and help to make change in policy that really matters. Thank you so much for your help and lets escape the ordinary together!

  • Thank you for all your hard work. I appreciate your honesty and candor in explaining the reality of the agriculture industry. More people need to understand how the industry works, and how you the producer seem to get left behind in the process. It is not right, but I know you know that. Again thank you for being a voice for the producer, and showing how it is done. God bless you and your family.

  • I don’t believe it’s so much a lopsided subsidy program. The problem is that the Farm Bill gets everything else stuffed into it, because it’s a bill that doesn’t dare get rejected. Our nations food source supply is running toward desperate times.

  • By far your best educational video. If you know of a farmer that grows M&M's, please forward that information the contact info.

  • The disconnect is huge. People have no interest in knowing where their food comes from. It is sad. We all eat and we are killing the people that feed us.

  • I think iam at that breaking point this year, I have ranched for 30 years, and with the cost of doing business versus what I sell calves for just is not profitable enough to sustain a family. Big business has bought up a lot of the pasture and water for development and we keep losing more ground every year. I love this lifestyle but just dont see it working much longer. Which means I will have to go back to work for an employer. But I guess like they say things will not stay the same forever. You have a great channel keep up the good work.

  • Great video, our family was a farming family till my grand parents retired and sold out because none of their kids wanted to continue farming and I was too young to step up and take over. Keep up the good work.

  • Very moving vid and really brings to light how it all comes down for our food.. Thank you for your service to the US.. We say that to the heros that serve our country in the military and civil servants, but it is time to start saying THANK YOU to the US farmers too!

  • It does beg the question though, why bother to do it? It seems to me farmers are just beating their heads against the wall. Back when I went to school, many, many , moons ago, farmer kids were pretty much poor! So it hasn't changed much. Big corporate farms have hurt the I farmers even more. Now the tariffs and the floods are causing a lot of farmers to either file for bankruptcy, even worse, commit suicide, suicides are up among farmers. So yeah I know all about doing it because farmers all love it but, it still begs the question, why?

  • Most consumers do not have a clue how the food they purchase is produced. Mike seems to understand it very well. Our country is being conned by huge corporations that want to control everything. Thank you for your efforts to inform the public.

  • I worked on a farm planting onion sets when I was a teenager, beleive me this gave me a clear appreciation for farmer's difficult and demanding life. Why farmer's (and ranchers) have to constantly deal with so little appreciation is behond me. These folks are our lifeline, they're really not getting what they deserve. Those of us who can, Let's support our farmer's markets, Mike is totally correct, small step but giant benefits.

  • Thanks Mike and Erin this is the Best PSA I've ever watched! You hit a subject that needs to be HighLighted more often, you hit the Bull'it Points Dead on.

  • Love your channel!
    My husband and I will be visiting Wyoming next summer looking for a place to retire and continue building our hobby farm.
    We currently live in southern Arizona on an acre.

  • You guys are doing it the right way. It's all going to come tumbling down someday soon. And those of us that can take care of ourselves and others will be the few that survive. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thanks for a very interesting video you are put over some very inportant facts it's the same here in the uk

  • Thanks, Mike, for sharing this video. Last August, I moved my family from a 2 1/2 acre place to a 13 acre farm in Indiana. My goal is to continually be teaching my 6 children where food comes from and how to get in from ground to table. So far, it's 30 chickens, 13 ewes, for beef cows and 2 steers. We'll see where it all ends up! God bless you for all your hard work!

  • One of your best videos yet Mike. Very informative, YES, we’ll share this video! By the way, thank you for the STAT RE: VT…we live in the NEK (Northeast Kingdom of Vermont) – All the best to you, family & your livestock 👍👍

  • Great video Mike, I very much agree with the information you provided in the video. Good luck during calving season.

  • Good video Mike. I was in Gillette Saturday tried sending you a email don't know if you got it or not nice country up there

  • Well said, Mike. I'm a fruit and asparagus farmer from Michigan. Much of our price suppression comes from cheap imports. Consumers need to demand domestic products. Keep up the good work!

  • Great info Mike. It made me stop and think. 2 Thumbs Up. PS I think a lot of us would really like to see and hear the story behind the 606 International Tractor.

  • Life hasn,t been fair for ages kings dictators politicians corporations it never trickles down evenly to the worker….and socialism is not the answer…Mike your view on Co-ops for ranchers farmers? In the meantime visit the FM everyone

  • We raise our veggies and some fruit. If we buy any fruit it is from local growers. We raise our beef, chicken, pork, eggs. I bought a jersey calf so I can do my own milking for milk, cheese, butter. I spend $50 a month.

  • Yes I think it is very important to support local farmers rather than big corporations that will do anything to get more yield eat healthier support local farmers 100%

  • Old joke:
    A doctor, teacher and a farmer matched the numbers on a 10 million dollar lottery and would split the amount. They were each quizzed on what they were going to do with the windfall. The doctor said he would add on to his clinic to better serve his patients. The teacher said he would travel the world and bring those experiences back to better teach his students. The farmer thought a bit and finally said, Well I guess I’ll just keep farming until it’s gone.

  • And don’t forget the never ending stress coming from the things that are completely out of the farmers control … mainly the weather!!!
    I still love the quote from William Jennings Bryan (I think I’ve got the name right) … the gist of the quote is … if you destroy the cities the farms will continue just fine … if you destroy the farms the cities will crumble into dust!

  • I can't agree more with you Mike. Prices for everything are suffering now, three years ago we were almost getting $6/bushel for wheat and this year we will be lucky to get $3/bu. Same goes for the cattle like you said. I wish we could market locally, but there is just no opportunity around here to do that. Really, if this cycle keeps happening, and a bad year happens for these large, large farms where they buy 10 combines per year or 20 tractors per year, they will go broke and then the small family farms, although still struggling and probably not able to buy that land, will still be able to keep going because of responsible money use back when the markets were good, but then you run into that land not being used. I personally see a food crisis happening in the next 20 to 50 years because of these large farms. A major nationwide drought would knock out so many of these farmers that food would be through the roof. While I do not hope for a food shortage, I hope more and more land can come back into the hands of small family farms throughout the nation and world just to show that big companies can't do it all.

  • Hi Mike, please tell Erin that comment was not about her, it was some guy passing it around to live streamers, sorry.
    Why do you farmers get so little?
    Your feeding the nation!!
    Jo Jo in VT

  • I have been watching your videos, I'm buying a 200-acre dairy farm in mid-central On. Canada and changing it to beef farming. My only cost is going to be
    operating costs. Everything is paid for except the cattle and the feed which I'm growing. My numbers don't add up to what you say.

  • Tell your daughter we have an M&M company here in Waco Tx. Our branch of Mars make Snickers last time I checked. My sister in law use to work the line keeping the machines working.

  • Hi Mike……Mike from Vancouver, Canada here. I tip my hat to you and your family for showing us the struggles and rewards to farming/ranching. I grew up on a hobby farm( CHICKENS turkeys a few cows and pigs geese ducks and I know the work and time for these animals. But I cant image the effort and time that goes in having such a huge ranch. I would love to experience some  day the daily  grid   of a rancher before I leave this earth ( I'm retired now at 57). keep up the great job

  • Thanks for the video, everything in it is soooo true its almost sad. Many people have no idea where their food comes from yet they believe what farmers and ranchers are producing is bad for them. With that, farmers and ranchers get almost ripped off for their product when they send hours on hours trying to produce high quality products for the consumers. Then you throw in the government putting all these controls on vaccines, and really care taking for animals in general that you have to have a degree to understand all the horse crap regulations they put on. I have never seen a rancher or farmer that has tried to ruin there product, their goal is to feed the american people, feed their own family, and providing for their family. One great line i always like, you don't become a rancher or farmer because of the money, you do it because your heart, mind, and soul is dedicated to keeping the land you love and passing it on for generations to come.

  • Love the message in this video! The big farms keep squeezing us little guys out. It’s sad. I’m 15, we have 90 head of cattle now, part-time farmers we are. With how tough it is to get land, I may never get to go full-time farming in my life unless there is a major change in the economy.

    I will say though, as the global population grows, we won’t have to produce more food. We could produce less or even the same amount. The global overstock will dwindle, supply low, high demand = hopefully a better cheque for the farmer.

  • It will never get better, people in the city are under stress to pay their ever increasing bills and cost of living so they have no time or interest to care where their food comes from. One day all local farmers will disappear and all food will be grown with the help of chemicals and hormones. Humanity is going the way of selfish people.

  • Great video very good content. Moost people who live in cities Are 3to 4 generations from the farm. My wife & i are 1 generation from the farm

  • Hi mike, Morgan from Australia here. I live on a dairy farm here in Queensland. I love being around the cows and cant wait to leave school and work on it. But lately these so called "animal activists" have been an absolute pain in our a*** , but hey thats life. We have just gone through a massive drought over here as well so that didn't help but we got through and now slowly rebuilding and getting some cows back in good nic. Anyways, keep the fantastic videos up and good luck in calving season mate.

  • I'm not sure why anyone would give you a thumbs down on this video.   Most of us just don't even realize what's going past our own little bubble.   Thank you guys for all that you do and all the information that you share.

  • Hi again! So little for so much Mike! Nothing fair and balanced. The amount of time and hard work involved and the quality end product should be fairly compensated but never has been and never will be without change. An excellent vid Mike. One of your best. Your educating message needs to get out here into the world as there are soo many that are unaware. They hear the names of the big companies and some have no idea of the little guys that help to feed the world everyday too.
    You Erin and tbe ranch are filling the gap in that middle gray area and are a perfect example of what it takes to survive with the diversity of products from the animals produce and misc creations and events. Education is the key and is something you're already doing a good job. Something to be proud of and something to motivate you each day into the future. Thx as always for all that you and Erin do to help feed us all and work toward changes that will benefit all. Hope calving goes smoothly for you this year…

  • Good video very true message we should all support our local farmers and ranchers they are our future in healthy living

  • Great video, Mike. Well said. We often get called "hipsters" for being part of our local CSAs. In reality, we really just love two things: the land where we live and facts. And as you laid out, the facts are Big Agg isn't that great for the land where we live or the people working the land. Buying food that's traveled 1,500 miles on average versus something 20-30 miles away maybe, is a no-brainer. I hope society continues to make a push for local foods and businesses in general. It's a good reminder that you can make a good living doing something you enjoy and still be very happy.

  • Mike I think the primary difference between a farm and a ranch is that a farm involves much heavier ground cultivation compared to a ranch with it's focus on grazing. As for prices nothing is going to change without a nationwide supply management plan and you'll never see that . As a result the production of raw agricultural commodities will continue to remain at the bottom of the value added process. Local sales can help a bit but the economy of scale and trade policies will continue dictate prices going forward.

  • Great video 👍, finding non GMO's , and organic is food is a way to avoid cancer. Glysophate is in everything we eat and drink.

  • Mike, Thanks for sharing this insight. I have learned so much and this one really hit home. Our voices will make a difference. I will continue to share your words.

  • Sadly more and more folks "depend" on someone else to get their food(and lots of other things). Somehow this education has been removed from our youth, who now take to many things for granted. More folks would be well to get an education in food production.

  • And now, "Our Wyoming Life," brought to you by "Our Wyoming Life®". Yes friends, does city life, the old lat lace (Chinese) getting you down? What you need is "Our Wyoming Life!" For a few minutes, you can make it "My Wyoming Life!" Stay tuned as Mike tells us today's story… Well folks, there you have it, direct from "Our Wyoming Life." I'm Your Old City Boy©, bringing you live (just barely) commentary and trying to help us buy local. Which, as Mike said, is not so easy to do. But, let's keep up the search for local stuff. I'm in Mississippi, the Catfish Capitol™ Of the world, and guess what our local Kroger sells?! Chinese catfish!! I've talked to manager, and written to Kroger in Cincinnati, OH. They don't care. But I do!! Please check to see where your food is produced! They try to trick us. China bought out Virginia's Smithfield hams. And produce other meat under a different name to trick us! I'll pay more for local stuff, not just food!! Dagnabbedit.

  • I've always felt big corps are behind the increase in prices while farmers get less
    Farms are getting bigger
    While family farms are shrinking
    I'm seeing some blowback with market gardeners increasing .
    Like curtis stone an JM Fortier.
    Selling your own product retail is the only way to keep the money to yourself .

  • Hey Mike! I am looking to create a homestead for my family, so that we can grow most of our food. As our mining industry declines (where I work) I think that I will gradually move into agriculture. I know that we won't make money, but I would love to provide for my family , most of what we need. I remember you guys doing tons of business with my dad and grandpa's store downtown. I am looking to start with a small 40 acre homestead. I'm looking forward to talking with you guys sometime! Probably at Menards or Walmart, or the Farmer's market. LOL! Love your channel! You guys are inspiring me to go back to my old Wyoming heritage of homesteading.

  • I want to move there to help you with the ranch my name is Justin Ryden I was born on a ranch I love tractors

  • Great video again Mike. You've nailed both the micro and macro economic issues right on the head. I believe you're correct about how to make things more sustainable and growing. Thanks again.

  • I'm a Financial Advisor. I've been at it for 20+ years. I work with a lot of Farmer/Ranchers. The last 2-3 years have been VERY rough on them (I could type for days), consequently, it's been rough on my business too!!! I do a retirement plan for a large dairy (for example) – those guys are barely surviving!! As land costs, equipment costs, goods and services, etc, etc continue to go up, and up, and up – incomes have gone down!! I honestly have no clue how some of these farmers are still able to farm!! Anyway, I really enjoy your vids!

  • i agree completely! My hope is that technology will interject a more direct farm to table option for consumers. In southern california, locally grown is about 400 miles away.

  • Mike, this is a very good video, though the situation is rather depressing. You mentioned in the Herd Report numerous responses from ranchers and farmers also experience this and many contemplate "getting out." What is the solution to this do you think? This is an important question we must face if we are to enable small food producers to enter the market and hold their market share among the Big Boys." This subject has been studied since the rise of corporate farms all over the world and it is a subject myself and others are actively seeking a solution. We plan to soon launch such a project on a pretty good sized scale in the PNW of the USA plus select spots worldwide and any input by you and others would be greatly appreciated for our success. BTW we plan on having much of our income in food generation operations, including beef, dairy and plant crops.

  • Mike.. just came by this…. comments?

  • Really do like these 'info videos' on agriculture … The farm bill video was awesome and I have shared it many times .. How dare they pass a bill that allows 'foreign' beef and pork to be labeled 'from the USA' …. Thanks to our good friends, the Canadians and Mexico… I have stopped buying those products unless the store can tell me exactly where the beef or pork comes from … Nice of our 'friends' to take us to the UN court for unfair trade practices for labeling our our products 'made in the USA' … Can't make this stuff up …

  • Just posted your video on I hope more people watch what you have to say because it's spot on. Here is the link to the conversation on the cattle forum

  • Great massage, as a part owner of a small restaurant in the Chicago area. I know first hand where your coming from. 42 cents of every dollar goes to labor, 38 cents goes to food cost, and the rest for insurance energy rent or mortgage and all other costs, somewhere might be some profit. After 38 years work more and make less. Who to blame??? Your absolutely right the farmer feeds the world. But who thinks of him or her. Best wishes, have a great day.

  • Is there a website where local farmers are listed so that we as consumers can contact farmers? Like a farmers yellowpages?

  • Mike this was well done. Your outspokenness to the topics of keeping it local should be heard by everyone. I can tell you that in a past video, you explained that meat and poultry do not have to be labeled with the country of origin. I have since been conscious of what I buy. My local supermarket does have beef, that is labeled as Product of USA, and that's the one I buy. I only started to pay attention to it after I watched that video a few weeks ago. As I always said, keep up the good work. I plan at some point to travel from NJ to your farmers market and get some of you ranch beef.

  • Politics aside, why would agriculture, something humanity has been practicing and has depended on since the dawn of civilization, have anywhere near the affect on the environment as technology which was invented during the industrial revolution? Not a rhetorical question btw, looking for actual answers to these folks’ reasoning, makes my head spin sometimes 😅

  • Great video! Answer to a question I have always wondered. I loved the graphics you used to compile this video. I can tell much time and thought went in it. Thanks for good informational clean content.

  • There needs to be a lot more farming, America needs to put focus on a very important issue. There needs be a great comeback. Definitely speak up and get the word out there.

    God bless our Farmers who provide so much to this country

  • Why can’t blondes work on the M&M farm?

    Thanx from the left coast near the Krapitol of California

    Because they keep weeding the 3’s, E’s & W’s 🤠

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