In Defense of Farming

By David Mas Masumoto

We’ve all heard it: The Valley needs to diversify the economy and stop being so dependent on agriculture. We need better-paying jobs, get people out of the fields, and stop the exploitation. The Valley must develop other resources and create another identity; we need to be something more than cows and critters, vines and cheap vino.

I hear the message: We’d be better off without farms and farmers.

I am defensive. We in the Valley already have a powerful economic identity called agriculture. Yet people seem to want to discard it, ignore it, and forget it.

Agriculture in our Valley is a multibillion dollar industry. When compared with the flash of the film industry or the sizzle of high technology, we don’t stand a chance. We aren’t sexy enough.

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