Young Madison journalist Becky Froelich helps write up Charlie and Allen Johnson's longstanding organic farm operation down in Orland townshipâ€”
â€”edit: Make that Charlie, Allen, and Aaron Johnson. According to Froelich, Aaron was toiling away selling seed and ag products when Charlie and Allen asked if he'd like to bust his chops farming organically. In a moment of insanity probably induced from Big Ag chemicals, Aaron said yes. He and his wife Kristin took the Dakota Rural Action Farm Beginnings course, and now he's partners with Charlie and Allen in living off the land:
Aaronâ€™s role in the operation is clear to Charlie: â€œHe provides the major labor source,â€ Charlie said with a laugh. His background in ag products also comes in useful as they explore new technology.
Other family members are also involved in the operation, including another brother who serves as a mechanic.
â€œWhen you think about it, we support three families off of this farm, when itâ€™s so much smaller than non-organic farms that donâ€™t feed that many,â€ Aaron said. â€œI have a good life here, we all do, and this is a great thing to do.â€
Heâ€™s happy to be stepping into the Johnson Farmsâ€™ legacy [Becky Froelich, contributor, "Johnson Family Brings in the Next Generation to Their Organic Farm," Dakotafire, 2012.07.09].
Farm organically, put more people to work, bring more people to the community... hmm... if Rep. Kristi Noem is still looking for a Republican jobs bill, maybe she should speak up on the Ag committee, kill special favors for Monsanto, and stop voting to cut programs that support new farmers like Aaron!
Aaron is a welcome addition to the Johnson operation... especially if his herculean labor gives Charlie time to campaign for District 8 Senate! Aaron's labor will also be useful in making up for losses from some recent herbicide drift. Charlie reports on the Johnson Farms Facebook page that last month, a neighbor went out and threw Monsanto product around on a windy day. Monsanto herbicide blew across the road, killed corn, and wrecked a field that had been chemical-free for 35 years.
Farmers have every right to choose whether to go organic or stick with the tools of Big Ag. But they have a responsibility to make sure their choice doesn't impose a choice on their neighbors.