I saw this on LinkedIn’s “Today’s news and views” column just now. Does the farm industry need workers only now? Hasn’t there been a shortage of farm workers, just like healthcare workers, even from more “agrarian” times? And, speaking of “agrarian”, I have lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people, whether in person, on the airwaves or on the internet, having a condescending tone when using that word. It were as though being in an “agrarian” job, or role, or vocation, were somehow demeaning.
This is why stuff like COVID-19 happens every so often. We need to be reminded about what’s really important. The supply chain, including the supply of fresh, potable water, healthcare services and positive social contact, is akin to the lifeblood flowing in us, although the lifeblood is orders of magnitude more efficient and effective.
Actually, I don’t think we need to be reminded. We know how important it is that supermarkets stay open and have their shelves well stocked. We want to see trucks moving freely and our ports and airports staying open and busy. We want to be able to engage with forward-thinking, positive people so that we can be fruitful and enjoy creating more value together. We know this. Even dictators in the past, and probably also the present, have praised and ordered support for their “agrarian” folk. We just want other people to do these things for us. And they do, because they’ve been trained to think that’s their station in life, and if they’ll only work harder, they’ll start having a “better life”.
No, the farm industry doesn’t need workers now. We just need to recognize and pay them what is equitable. A just exchange of value between partners in life. How can we take action in that direction?