Why Farmers Are Just as Important as Doctors

Photo above: By Les Chatfield [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Doctors are important, but so are those in the agricultural industry. Without farmers, there wouldn’t be any food or even clothes. And without doctors, the world would be filled with sicknesses and people would die. I would say farmers and doctors are right at the same level if there was a scale of importance.

How would people eat if there weren’t any farmers? Where would hospital get their food to feed their patients? Exactly. There wouldn’t be a lot of things if there weren’t any farmers around.

If farmers aren’t so important, why is there a whole industry based upon them? The entire world relies on the agricultural industry for food and clothing. Parents rely on farmers to feed their children every night.

“I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman’s cares.” – President George Washington

Almost 90% of the harvested acreage in the United States alone belongs to hay, soy beans, corn, wheat and cotton. Other crops are planted each year and are sent to local stores. It is not often that major store chains sell local, homegrown fruits and vegetables.

There is a total of 5,627 registered hospitals in the U.S. In 2007, there were roughly 2.2 million farms across the United States alone. If a family of five were working together on a farm, that would put roughly 11 million farmers just in the United States. There are more than 16 million doctors in the United States, including those that practice medicine and those who care for patients.

Is the medical industry struggling? Not as much as the agricultural industry is, right? There isn’t as many people involved in agriculture now as there was back in the 19th century. Back then, labor on farms was much worse because farmer’s didn’t have the technological advances that we do now. Now, we have tractors that can do most of the work for us. Why aren’t there more farmers because of the technological advances that allow us to do the work quicker?

In 1870, 50% of the population was employed in agriculture. As of 2008, there is less than 2% of the population is ployed in the industry. In Pennsylvania alone, there is more than 9.8% of the population employed in the medical field.

“Prosperous farmers mean more employment, more prosperity for the workers and businessmen of every industrial area in the whole country.” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt 

Now days, most teenagers are leaning towards the idea of being in the medical field of some sort. In my Youth Group at church, most of the teenagers either wanted to be a nurse, paramedic or doctor. Why? Because they think they will earn more money in the medical field.

Ranchers and farmers only earn 16 cents out of each dollar spent on food they grow. On average, a farmer earns around $61,000 per year. How is that fair when primary care doctors earn up to $195,000 each year? Who’s working harder and getting paid less?

Sure, you will make a lot more money in the medical field than you would in the agricultural industry. But would you take the risk of making one mistake and possibly ending your patients life?

In some ways, the agricultural industry and the medical field are similar. For instance, you have to learn how to give vaccines. Except, for one industry it is for animals and the other is for humans. In both industries you have to get your hands dirty. But one is with germs and the other with blood, sweat, dirt and tears. Who has the tougher occupation?

Percent_in_agriculture_-_US.png

Those employed in agriculture as of 2007.

Why aren’t there more people in the agricultural industry as there is in the medical field? Is it simply because there isn’t enough land or are people in my generation thinking that it would be too much work? Well, guess what. It isn’t that hard at all. In fact, you are, in some ways, part of the agricultural industry even if you don’t work on a farm. Do you have a garden in your backyard, or even your window seal? Then in a small way, you are working in agriculture.

From 1997 to 2012, the inventory of sheep and lambs has declined by almost 3 million while the amount of laying hens increased by 365,716,74. Cattle has also declined by nearly 10 million. The largest production of livestock is meat chickens. There was about 1,506,276,846 in 2012. That is more than both laying hens and cattle combined. 

us_cattle_density_2007

Cattle Density in the U.S. in 2007

Farmers provide natural foods for the entire country. They also sow natural herbs and other plants that ease pain, itching and other symptoms. Farmers plant trees and other crops that turn carbon dioxide into oxygen that both humans and animals need in order to live.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine announced the well-known “To Err is Human” report which released a bombshell. The research concluded that there is about 98,000 people who die due to medical errors in hospitals. That means, since 1999, there have been more than 16 million deaths in the U.S. due to medical errors. But that doesn’t count towards the countless numbers of lives that are saved each year. My Pap, for instance, was saved by a defibrillator a few years ago.

Both occupations can be quite risky. Farmers take the risk of injury by equipment or livestock everyday. Doctors take the risk of possibly ending a patients life with one wrong move. If a farmer were to get his/her arm caught in a hay cutter, they would most likely lose that limb. But, they would have to go straight to the hospital and seek medical attention. That is why doctors and farmers should work together to keep each other healthy.

Those in the agricultural industry provide food and clothes for everyday citizens of the United States. Doctors provide the knowledge of medicine to their patients. The world truly relies on both the medical field and the agricultural industry.

“It was the farm production, and the production of oil and minerals, which made it possible for this country to win the war in as short a time as it did. The farmers are to be most highly complimented on the contribution that they made to the war effort, and the contribution that they are making to the peace effort now.” –  President Harry Truman

Farmers are just as important as doctors and doctors are just as important as farmers.

“The miracle of American agriculture is thus an example to all the world’s billions of the wisdom and the rewards of our democratic system. For more than a century, that system has encouraged development of the family farm and the free and independent farmer.” – President Lyndon B. Johnson

Photo credits: Cattle Density Map; By Manore, et al [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons  Agriculture employment map; By Rcragun (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Resources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/1999/To-Err-is-Human/To%20Err%20is%20Human%201999%20%20report%20brief.pdf http://www.fb.org/newsroom/fast-facts http://work.chron.com/much-money-farmers-make-average-annually-3185.html http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-money-do-doctors-make-2016-4

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