Charles Hall: Family farms still rule

January 10, 2014 

Regarding the Dec. 28 article “Farm, animal-rights interests square off over legislation”: Contrary to assumptions, North Carolina farms are predominantly family operated, and the agricultural industry listens closely to consumers and marks their interest. That is precisely why there has been such a proliferation of consumer choice at both ends of the food cost spectrum.

Brands suffer when producers disregard consumers, and margins are thin enough that nobody wants to lag behind. A good example is the major pork producer that recently announced that all its growers would migrate to group housing for sows. This is exactly the action that this company’s consumers demanded and the company complied.

of More than 90 percent of North Carolina farms are family-owned. If I say many are organized as family corporations with dad, mom and a son or daughter as proprietors and someone says that’s still corporate, then we are splitting hairs.

The disdain for those who feed the vast number of Americans is ill-conceived, especially when it includes the sentiment that some producers are more virtuous than others because they produce things a certain way. .

The overarching issue should be food security. Even in today’s America with the most abundant and lowest-cost food in history, many struggle with hunger. For that reason, the full spectrum of food production is vital to the interest of the nation.

Charles Hall

CEO, North Carolina Soybean Producers Association

Raleigh

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