8B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Thursday, February 15, 2001
The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. M
After putting grain into bags, I
off the farm. The grain will us
Some of the hardest working people in the United States are
family farmers. They toil daily to produce the millions of pounds
of food that we consume annually while much of their work is
never seen by the general population. One such farmer is Alvin
Ernst who lives only fifteen minutes outside the Ann Arbor city
limits in Manchester.
Alvin's day begins early and ends late as he confronts a
never-ending steam of tasks. There are seeds to plant, animals to
feed, broken equipment to fix, grain to bag, crops to harvest and
hundreds of minor jobs that constantly appear. In addition to the
work he does year-round on the farm, Alvin is dedicated to his
children and family life.
Although family farms still account for approximately two-
thirds of all farms in the United States, many of these traditional
household farms have become increasingly threatened by the
expansion and corporatization of the farming process. In the face
of large farming enterprises, family farms will decline in size and
importance. These pressures are compounded by a deepened inte-
gration of American farmers into the global economy.
The family farm is an important piece of American history
and culture and its decline represents a loss of long established
To help prevent disease, Alvin pumps a medicinal Iluid into the
mouth of a sheep. Many farm animals, are prone to health problems.
Another aspect of being. a f n
some of the pigs raised on the fan