Actually, the reverse is true!
The growing of fruits, vegetables, salads and herbs is the most labor-intensive of all agricultural sectors1 and so switching from growing animals to growing vegetables will create thousands of jobs.
It will also better protect the soil and water supplies which, as we know, are the foundations of farming. Since we can get a lot more calories from a lot less land when we grow plant foods,2 we would need to use fewer chemicals to get the same amount of food, and that is better for soil quality and for biodiversity. Also, as soil stores four times more carbon than trees, being able to leave more of it to nature will help our climate, too.3 And since the production of meat and milk uses a lot more water than plants require,4 switching to a plant-based diet helps protect water supplies and will ensure our farmers have sufficient supplies now and into the future. All great news for our farming community.
Already, many farmers – including Howard Lyman, a fourth-generation cattle farmer from Montana, Harold Brown, a beef and dairy farmer from Michigan, and Bob Comis, a pig and sheep farmer from New York state – have switched from growing animals to plants. And with so many more farmers now expressing an interest in making this change, The Rancher Advocacy Program was established to advise and support them.
The market is certainly changing, and this offers great opportunities for farmers to tap into these new markets and reap the rewards.
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