In the year 1790, 90% of the American population were farmers. By 1850, this percentage had dropped to 64%, and then down to only 21% by the year 1930. Today, only 2% of the American population serve as farmers.
And though American agriculture is more productive than ever, I’m afraid that as a nation we are beginning to witness the consequences of having raised multiple generations who have never looped a metal chain through a gate or chased lightning bugs through a field of freshly mowed hay.
As a nation, we have allowed Disney to convince our children that all animals are cute and cuddly, then wonder why dozens of people get killed each year attempting to take selfies with grizzly bears, cougars and copperheads.
As a nation, we have replaced the garden hoe and watering bucket with an Xbox and cell phone, then wonder why our “children” refuse to move out at the age of 30.
I spent my teen years in the country. We rented the farmhouse and a big corporation tilled the fields, but I had run of the 45 acres, run of the huge old barn built with huge pegged timbers and siding nailed on with handmade square nails. It was old and sturdy. The house had been built by our landlord’s father in the 1890s. Yes, he was an old man. The house had a porch that wrapped two sides and a summer kitchen off the back. We raised chickens and did a fairly large garden. I’ve missed that ever since. I could walk in the woods, sit out at night and stargaze in a pretty dark sky, go camping in the five acres of woods across the plowed field. It was a three-mile bike ride into town or you could ‘walk the tracks.’
I think a lot of the nonsense being promulgated by the ‘left’ would fall on deaf ears if children had that kind of youthful experience. They would have more experience grounded in reality instead of their cellphones and ‘social media.’