Friday, July 10, 2015

An investment banker is gonna tell you how to farm

I ran across an article about this book and made a comment that reflects my general thought about people who don't have much experience writing books about stuff that they don't have much experience at:

"Why doesn't the author just start a farm and show us all how it can be done? She's clearly got the solution for our agrarian woes, right? The fix for factory farming. it's right there in her book.
So why doesn't she provide a shining example and show how it can be done and make a profit?
As an experienced farmer, I'd sure love to see that. She could teach us poor misguided farmers a thing or two. "

Here's this woman who took a long vacation and visited "60 farms in 3 countries over 2 years", (which means that she spent less than 2 weeks at any farm, and probably hours or minutes at some) and she's got the solution to every agricultural problem that we have, and she's gonna tell me the truth about farming.    What I love about investment bankers is the sheer arrogance of the profession.  Masters of the universe, indeed.  
Sonia Feruqi:  She wrote the book.  It must be true.  

This is part of the problem with farmers being only 2% of the population.  Most people will read a book like this one and take it for gospel.  In fact, if you read the comment section of the article i link to you can see one of the true believers of this book (who, mind you, has never read the book and admits as much in the discussion,) but apparently believes sight-unread, every single word that this book might contain.    I don't know what it contains because it won't be released for another week, but it's already the "#1 new release in agronomy" on amazon, and has 20 glowing 5 star reviews.  Congrats to your publicist, Sonia.  they're doing a great job!

The author promotes her idea of an ideal farm, a "pastoral" farm, and apparently thinks that having 10,000 chickens is ok, but 100,000 chickens is not.  I'm a little unclear on how more chickens is evil, but that's what she says.  Maybe if 10,000 chickens are fine, having 5 brings you closer to being a perfect farmer?  I don't know.  You'll have to ask her.  

She's also apparently not a fan of automation -- she singles out robotic milking machines as being bad in her view.  I wonder how she feels about tractors?  Or should all of us misguided farmers be confined to the fields to pick her vegetables and carefully hand-wash them before we return to our hovels to humbly eat our porridge?   

I'm gonna challenge her to start using clay tablets in her investment banking gig.  They are much better at developing upper body strength, and we can employ many people mining the clay and baking the tablets, and then storing them.  Not to mention the recycling aspects!

Feel free to post a review to this book if any of this hits a nerve.  Balance in reviews is always good.  

1 comment:

Bill Gauch said...

I know a couple authors who have published on Amazon. It's fairly standard practice (it seems) to have a couple dozen reviews from friends/family before it's been officially released. It's actually likely that at least a small handful of them have actually read the book. Aside from that, I have no idea how you keep up with these wizened authors writing farming books while ACTUALLY running your farm. I can barely keep up with keeping the house and cars mechanically sound and I'm much closer to a home gardener than a farmer.