The Social Contract (Fred Kirschenmann, Farm Policy Expert)
How do farm practices and policies affect water quality? Hear Fred Kirschenmann's perspective.
We can't just say to the farmer: "We want you to be a good steward of the land." What we have to do is we have to decide what our social contract is with agriculture for the future. As I say we're still operating under the social contract of producing as much raw materials as possible with as little labor as possible. If that doesn't make sense anymore, let's decide what it is. If we want farmers to help us produce clean water and clean air and quality soil and recreational areas that all of us can enjoy, farmers can produce all those things. but we have to create both the market system and the public policies to be serious about those things with farmers and to provide them with the kinds of incentives and compensations that enable them to be able to produce those services.