Today we are going to be discussing about the actual definition of who a farmer is, the farming improvements in technology, the types of farming, the farmers techniques, farming groups, the occupational hazards and when farming evolved in human life.
Now let’s start our discussion but first “Who is actually a farmer”?
Who is a Farmer?
A farmer (also referred to as an Agriculturer) is someone engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. The term normally applies to individuals who do some mixture of raising field plants, orchards, vineyards, poultry, or other farm animals.
A farmer might own the farmed land or may work as a laborer on land owned by others. Meanwhile, in advanced economies, a farmer is usually a farm owner, while employees of the farm are known as farm workers, or farmhands.
However, in the not so distant past, a farmer was a person who promotes or improves the growth of (a plant, crop, and so forth.) by using labor and attention, land or crops or raises animals (as livestock or fish).
History of Farming
Farming dates back as far as the Neolithic, being one of the defining characteristics of that era. Through the Bronze Age, the Sumerians had an agriculture specialized labor force by 5000–4000 BCE, and heavily depended on irrigation to grow crops. They depended on their individual groups when harvesting in the spring. The ancient Egypt farmers farmed, relied and irrigated their water from the Nile.
Animal Husbandry which is the practice of rearing animals specially for farming purposes has existed for thousands of years. Dogs were domesticated in East Asia about 15,000 years in the past. Goats and sheep were domesticated around 8000 BCE in Asia. Swine or pigs had been domesticated by 7000 BCE in the middle East and China. The earliest evidence of horse domestication dates to around 4000 BCE.
Farming Improvements in Technology
In the U.S. of the 1930s, one farmer could only produce enough meals to feed three other consumers while a modern-day farmer produces sufficient meals to feed well over one hundred human beings.
However, some authors consider this estimate to be mistaken, as it does not take into account that farming requires energy and many other resources which have to be provided by additional workers, so that the ratio of people fed to farmers is actually smaller than 100 to 1.
Types of Farming
More distinct terms are commonly used to denote farmers who raise particular domesticated animals. For example, those who raise grazing livestock, such as cattle, sheep, goats, and horses, are called Ranchers (U.S.) or Graziers (Australia & U.k.) or simply called “Stockmen”.
Sheep, goat, and cattle farmers might also be referred to respectively as Shepherds, Goatherds and Cowherds.
The term dairy farmer is applied to the ones engaged primarily in milk production whether from cattle, goats, sheep or other milk producing animals. A poultry farmer is one that concentrates on raising chickens, turkeys, geese or ducks for either meat, egg, or feather production, or commonly all three.
A person who raises a variety of vegetables for market can be called a truck farmer or market gardener. Dirt farmer is an American colloquial term for a practical farmer, or person who farms his very own land.
In developed nations, a farmer (as a profession) is usually defined as a person with an ownership interest in crops or farm animals, and who provides land or management in their production while the people who provide only labor are most often called farmhands. Also, growers who manage farmland for an absentee landowner, sharing the harvest (or its profits) are referred to as sharecroppers or sharefarmers.
In the context of agribusiness, a farmer is defined widely and for that reason many individuals not necessarily engaged in full-time farming can nonetheless legally qualify under agricultural policy for various subsidies, incentives, and tax deductions.
In the context of developing countries or other pre-industrial cultures, most farmers practice a meager subsistence agriculture which is a simple organic farming system employing crop rotation, seed saving, slash and burn, or other techniques to maximize efficiency even as meeting the needs of the household or community. Historically, one subsisting in this way may have been known as a peasant.
In developed countries however, someone using such techniques on small patches of land might be called a Gardener and be considered a hobbyist. Alternatively, one might be driven into such practices with the aid of poverty or ironically against the background of large-scale agribusiness might become an organic farmer growing for discerning consumers in the nearby food market.
Farmers are often members of local, regional or national farmers’ unions or agricultural producers’ organizations and can exert significant political influence. The Grange movement in the United States of America was powerful in advancing farmers’ agendas, especially in opposition to railroad and agribusiness interests early in the 20th century.
The FNSEA very politically active in France, especially pertaining to genetically modified food. Agricultural producers both small and large are represented globally by the International Federation of Agricultural producers (IFAP) representing over 600 million farmers through 120 National Farmers’ Unions in 79 countries.
Farmed products might be sold either to a marketplace, in a farmers’ marketplace, or directly from a farm. In a subsistence economy, farm products might to some extent be either consumed by the farmer’s own family or pooled by the community.
There are numerous occupational hazards for those in agriculture as farming is a particularly dangerous industry. Farmers can come across and be stung or bitten by dangerous insects and other arthropods, including scorpions, fire ants, bees, wasps, and hornets.
Farmers also work around heavy machinery which can kill or injure them. Farmers can also establish muscle and joints pains from repeated work.