The Washington Post

Jon Tester, U.S. senator (D-Mont.) and farmer

Jon Tester
U.S. senator (D-Mont.) and farmer

One of the challenges we’re seeing is a mass exodus off the land. It was Earl Butz who said, “Get big or get out.” That’s exactly the opposite of my philosophy. We’ve got 1,800 acres in Eastern Montana, we’re about a third of the size of the average farm now. We used to be half, now were about a third.

If you remove that person who has the attachment to the land off the land and it becomes more of a corporate structure, I think then it becomes a dollar that drives everything. And when anytime the dollar drives anything, there are decisions made based on the dollar and maybe not on soil health and maybe not on long-term productivity.


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