In God’s hands

If ever anyone doubted that the future of our country rested in God’s hands, there should be little doubt this year.
We are dependent on our farms for food and for economic sustenance. The 2009 season has not been normal. Crops in this area look like bin busters except for the fact that they appear to be three to four weeks late. For season watchers it was not lost that the lilies were three weeks behind. The wheat crops are coming on far faster than they looked like they would but we are still seeing canola in bloom. The corn crops are way behind but coming on fast. But it’s Aug. 21 folks, not July 21.
Only God can keep the frost away and we need warm, dry, frost-free days from now until the end of September. Our food supply and our economic well being are in God’s hands, as they always are, except it’s more readily apparent this year.
If the same could be said about our hog industry, it would be comforting. Unfortunately, a lot of man-made and man-imagined situations have come upon our hog industry. Once the crown jewel of Manitoba agriculture along side canola, the hog industry has not only fallen on hard times, it has crashed. First there was the NDP government with their phony war on “nutrients” going into the lakes. That resulted in a hog building and expansion ban. Then there was H1N1 which was falsely labeled Swine Flu and that sent terror into some consumers’ hearts. H1N1 has little to do with swine. Flu bugs are flu bugs and people get some of them. Those who are older, those with compromised immune systems, or who are very tired and stressed, tend to get flu. Some people just get the flu. And, yes some people die from it. People die every day from explainable and unexplainable causes. And they die in greater numbers than from the flu, but H1N1 is the media and government flavour of the month, so we have to tolerate a lot of publicity.
Media and government frenzy about topics like flu reminds one of the two church officials who were in their office one day when a fellow worker came running breathlessly into their office. The worker gasped, “He’s coming, He’s coming!” The church officials looked out the east window and panicked, screaming, “He’s coming, He’s coming, what should we do?” Finally, one of them calmed down a bit and said, “I don’t know what to do, but I think we better look busy!”
That’s our government and our media. Better get out there and identify (or create a crisis) and look very busy trying to solve it.
Flu bugs will come and flu bugs will go. What should we do? As individuals we should eat properly, stay well rested, look after our health as best we can and if we really feel so inclined, get a flu shot. Stay away from work if we are sick, cover our mouth when we cough, wash our hands regularly. The list goes on, but when all is said and done, life goes on, or not. No amount of excessive worry will change that.
So our hog industry, a source of very good food, employment and economic activity has been brought to its knees by our government, by H1N1 hype, by a high Canadian dollar, by country of origin labeling (COOL), and by U.S. farm subsidies. It’s in extreme distress and this area is highly dependent on the hog industry.
The hog industry would do well if it only had to deal with the things God controls such as frost-free days. But maybe that’s the answer. Perhaps all these other devastations can be turned around by God. I’m sure there are many in the hog industry who are praying that God will salvage the industry so it can thrive again.
The very frustrating part of all this is that even when the hog industry is in a healthy condition, there are those who would like to kill it off, those who hate agriculture. Those few dreamy-eyed individuals would have us go back to subsistence agriculture with 20 chickens, two sows, five cows and farmers only growing enough food for themselves and a handful of others. They ignore the fact that the rest of the country and the world needs Canada’s farms to feed them. We have tremendous potential in Canada and Manitoba for sustainable agriculture and food production and processing if the doomsday crowd would get out of the way.
Perhaps we should pray for that as well.

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