Today I was scurrying around in my little Ford Ranger (we call it Tonka because it's so small it looks like a toy truck) and heard a news flash: America's biggest farm organization, Farm Bureau, (that's a misnomer; it's really just an insurance company) has launched a Monarch butterfly project and encourages farmers to try to leave some milkweed around their fields.
Anybody interested in the collapse of the Monarch butterfly population knows that their favorite food is milkweed. In fact, Virginia has a non-profit organization devoted to planting milkweed seeds in hopes of saving some Monarchs.
Isn't it curious that Farm Bureau, the enemy of direct marketing farm-to-table foods, the enemy of non-chemical farming, the enemy of ecological farming, is suddenly encouraging folks to leave some milkweeds? These folks want every subsidy . . . er, crop insurance . . . you can imagine to grow mono-crops; they want more and more chemicals to be used in what is euphemistically known as "precision" agriculture. And now they're the friend of Monarch butterflies. Please pardon me while I spit.
If you want more milkweed, just come to our farm. We have it up the wazooo. It naturally comes with mob stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization. We don't just have it in field edges; it's out in the fields too. Cows like milkweed, so we don't even consider it a weed like 98 percent of conventional agriculture (you can call that Farm Bureau).
Isn't it just like the orthodoxy to headline a newscast with the notion that Farm Bureau wants farmers to leave some milkweed but a farm like ours that has encouraged them to proliferate for decades can't even find a linear inch on the subject? I challenge Farm Bureau to give me $100,000 and send as many farmers as they can find here to Swoope, Virginia, and I'll show them how to make money growing pastures that contain milkweed.
You reckon they'll take me up on the offer?