I work for the Department of Environmental Quality and I'm a Christian and a long-time student of the Bible, so I know it is our duty to care for and preserve the beautiful world God gave us. It makes me so sad when people want to take all of a natural resource to maximize profit, then leave a big mess in the environment. However, I am also sad when rampant over-regulation and misunderstanding constantly points the finger at agriculture as a major polluter.
I think farmers and ranchers are the best folks we have in this country and a few bad apples have given agriculture a bad name as being environmentally unfriendly. It is such hard work and so difficult to make a living, but some of us just feel driven to make our livelihoods this way. It is a wholesome lifestyle to work outside and work hard for a living, and there is just something that drives us to keep at it. I feel it--for some reason I just have to keep goats. I love them so much and I love being outdoors caring for them. I have been at this for 13 years without making a profit--sometimes I come close to breaking even. It's heartbreaking when they sicken and die, I have fencing and irrigation emergencies, it can be one drama after another--most people are completely bemused that I would keep sticking with it, but other country people would understand.
Along with commandments to be good stewards of the land, one of God's first commandments was to dominate the world. And humans do dominate. There is just no way to argue that we have an effect on the natural world wherever we go. It is such a shame and such a pity that historically, this has been a negative effect--to take all we can get, kill all the native plants and animals, and leave devastation for future generations. However, God's commandment to dominate was to take care, tend, and nurture the land while we got what we needed from it to be a strong, healthy, productive people.
Farmers and ranchers come the closest to fulfilling this commandment, as far as I can see. They are the ones who truly care for their land, making it productive and rich, feeding and clothing us all, while keeping the land fully-functioning to pass it down to future generations. As science continues to improve, we need to help the farmers to be more productive, more nurturing of the resource, and more
After 13 years of keeping Angora goats without selling very many animals, this has been a most unusual year. I have had three independent inquiries about the mysteries and drama of beginning a goat farm. One family has already purchased 5 of my sweeties! I couldn't have asked for a better family to take care of them--they have a secluded, well-fenced, lush pasture, a large family with daughters who have lots of time to lavish attention on the goats, and they live close enough to me that I can come and visit them! I had some separation anxiety because I sold them Sweet Pea, who was the first kid born into my goat family, 12 years ago. And I sold Isabelle, who was my first bottle baby and is very affectionate. And also Stormy, who is Izzy's first baby. Just those three represent a lot of firsts and a lot of memories, but I knew that the Garners were the right family to treasure them as much as I do. I also let Rufous go--he was the kid born brown last year. It was such a surprise that he expressed that recessive gene for the colored Angoras! And I also sold them Samson. He has always been a shy boy and he was very attached to his mother, who died last year during the terrible winter. Their new family have actually tamed him enough to get him to come up to them for treats and petting!
I am so happy they have found a new home!