I love Jackson County. We are so blessed to live in an area with so much natural beauty and so many things that enrich our lives: The Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, Jackson-Washington State Forest, Starve Hollow State Recreation Area, Jackson County History Center, Jackson County Theatre, Southern Indiana Center for the Arts, Medora Covered Bridge ... and I could go on and on.
Jackson County, by virtue of U.S. 50, is in the center of Indiana’s Historic Pathways (the Buffalo Trace) and Indiana’s Forest and Farms Artisan Trail.
It is important that we protect this rich heritage and manage our resources in such a way that we don’t inadvertently destroy our assets, the very things that make Jackson County so special.
In 2006, Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman stated in the Rise 2020 Report, Rural Indiana Strategy for Excellence: “I envision a rural Indiana that is characterized by genuine economic opportunity, responsible stewardship of natural resources and strong sustainable communities that provide a high quality of life for those who call rural Indiana home. We cannot become a state of haves and have-nots. Achieving this vision will benefit all Hoosiers.”
Brownstown lies directly on a route mapped by Indiana’s Historic Pathways, a group formed “to preserve and protect the scenic, historic, natural and recreational intrinsic values that promote education and economic development opportunities.”
As I have become involved with Indiana’s Historic Pathways, I have become aware that big business seems to be exploiting the vulnerabilities of Jackson County as well as other counties on Indiana’s Historic Pathways routes.
I trusted the state of Indiana to implement the goals given in the Rise 2020 Report in such a way that would show balance, but I am not seeing this happen in Jackson County or other counties.
Big business feeds us the falsehood that we have to compromise our assets by being involved in big agriculture because we are the breadbasket of the world and farmers have to do this to make a decent living.
I have learned the hard way that Big Business, Big Food and Big Ag are not about good nutrition. What I once thought was a healthy diet was not so healthy after all.
It does matter where your food is grown and what is put into it. It matters if the animal providing your meat was dosed with hormones and antibiotics that transfer to you. Lower quality meat results from poor quality feed. It matters if the food you eat was treated with herbicides and pesticides. The result is malnutrition and toxic buildup, which results in disease.
First I had cancer. Then I developed a few autoimmune diseases. The first should have been a warning, but since I just treated symptoms, I got another, and then another, until I had life-threatening vasculitis. I hadn’t realized the important link between what I ate and my health. I am now in remission and fighting my way back to good health by detoxing and eating organic food.
I am blessed to have a family that is able to provide grass-fed beef and pastured chicken. Amish farms are not too far away to get fresh dairy. A friend provides organic eggs. We do have some organically grown produce available via CSAs and in some grocery stores. So organic food is available, albeit a little bit of a challenge to find.
I am so grateful for the people who have led the way for me and owe much to my son who figured it out for me while I was so very ill. He is now an avid disciple of Joel Salatin, a self-described “Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist-lunatic-farmer” who produces high-quality “beyond organic” meats, environmentally responsible, ecologically beneficial, sustainable agriculture.” Salatin has paved the way, showing that it is possible to make a good living on a farm without going into debt with big business.
So when the farmers say that “we can’t make a living without….” please have them research Joel Salatin.
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