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A Hundred Years From Now

Life has always been a balancing act between the haves and have-nots.

Less populated industrial countries use the major portion of fossil fuel while third world countries still farm by hand and recreate. The world population is expected to increase by a billion every upcoming decade.

If we could snap our fingers and by magic, make some change that might save the earth from its inhabitants, what would we do?

“Birth control,” said Steve.

“You mean anything?” asked J.D.

“Yup . . .” I said. “I’d transport everybody into the future 100 years to see how the earth would have been taken care of under their generations.”

A great idea. . . though hard to predict. But we could compare it to someone in the past lookin’ forward to today. My grandpa was born in 1866 in Bonham, Texas. Twenty years later he had moved to Oklahoma, staked a claim in the land run of ‘89, married and started a family. He was a farmer, horseman and fiddle player. If he was suddenly transported at age 53 to today, how would his world have changed?

First, I think he’d notice there’s a lot more people . . . and a lot less farmers. Yet these farmers are producing enough to feed their neighbors. The absence of draft horses and mules would be a shock. He’d see smoking diesel tractors draggin’ discs, combines, cotton pickers and corn pickers through the fields. The number of bushels yielded per acre might leave him speechless as would dairy cows that milk 70 lbs a day, a 100,000 head feedlots, hog and chicken confinement barns and the loss of self-sufficiency on the family farm.

However, the air would be less breathable, the water less palatable, the work ethic less valued, family time less taken, sunsets less viewed and neighbors less trusting. The environment would have been compromised by farming in order to feed the 3 times increase in population. As less good farm ground was available due to urban encroachment more technological innovations would have been required to keep up.

So, what is our world gonna be like in 100 years? It’s hard to predict, but there is one guarantee that should keep farmers busy improving our methods . . . there’s gonna be a lot more people to feed.

Thank God for modern farming methods, science and technology, and most of all for the cowboy and the farmer who always get up every day to feed the world. That won’t change.