The misconception that farmers are the individuals responsible for the eradication of the environment is absolutely absurd. Farmers are the original environmentalists and good curators of both land and water resources. Their livelihood depends on these resources so it only makes sense that they would do everything within their power to preserve them. In fact, a lot of the issues that the general public places the blame on farmers for are not actual threats to the environment in any way. For instance, the complaint that farmers are using GMO driven crops to feed livestock has no impact on the animals or their byproducts. In fact, using GMO crops to feed livestock in no way affects humans, aside from the fact that it assists farmers in creating a higher yield; therefore, making consumer purchases cheaper. Additionally, the belief that farmers purposely apply too much chemical to land, creating agricultural runoff into water is untrue. Although agricultural runoff used to be accountable for 50% of the total nitrogen buildup in freshwater, new implements have been put into place to enforce stricter regulations on chemical spread. Also, chemical prices have been raised so much that it would be idiotic for farmers to over-spray their fields. They would literally be throwing money away.
Instead of intentionally harming the Earth, farmers are doing their best to counteract implications made in the past. Organizations like the Agricultural Stewardship Association are helping to work towards total ecological awareness throughout the industry by confronting the issues at hand. By combining the use of new technology with classical farming and are creating more sustainable and renewable energy sources. For instance, the waste used in agricultural waste can be transformed into biogas (used in turbines designed for natural gasses).
Also, wind powered farms are becoming more and more popular as energy technology evolves across the country. Although a majority of the wind energy is produced on wind farms, the energy on the farms is dire to the process too. Wind turbines can be placed alongside crops and livestock pastures. In some cases, the turbines generate enough power to satisfy not only the entire farm, but to outside locations, too.
Farmers have held the Earth in their hands and have spent their lives crafting it into food for us since the beginning of time. As an industry, the setbacks so far have been minor; however, it is important to keep striving to be ecologically and environmentally sound. Earth and all the living organisms on it depend on it.