Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chicken Feed in 50 Lb Bags?

Do I feel like a male chauvinist pig this morning?  Via Yale Sustainable Food Project here's a piece on Female Farmers and people who complain about tools being designed for men and:
"Why, they asked, does chicken feed have to come in 50-pound bags?"
That's the first I've heard of that.  Back in the day, when we walked to school uphill both ways, both chicken and dairy feed came in 100 pound bags.  That was the test of a man.  We'd make a trip to the GLF (Grange League Federation--a co-op) store and load the pickup with bags of feed.  To make it up the hill from the Chenango River valley over to the Page Brook valley dad would have to use second gear, maybe first.  Then he'd back the truck to the henhouse and the barn to carry the bags in.

As a small boy I was impressed by the routine.  As I grew, I could help a little.  But it was a great day when I'd grown enough to be able to handle the bags. As I was born when dad was 52, the timing was right as well--he was losing the strength to handle the bags. To project onto all farm boys my feelings: farm boys have to compete with their fathers, something they can do because they're in the same

Of course, 100 lb bags of feed went the way of small farms--the efficient way to handle feed is in bulk. Bulk feed, bulk milk, bulk farms.

BTW--the women who asked the question quoted above are designing a line of tools:
Adams and Brensinger launched Green Heron Tools in 2008, the first company in the world to make farm equipment designed exclusively for the female body. Thanks to two grants from the USDA, they are releasing their Hergonomic Shovel-Spade (HERS) in the next couple weeks. Every feature is scientifically based on how a woman shovels. It's the first tool of its kind.
 I'm not sure I'm happy about USDA tax dollars going to help undermine patriarchy any more than it's already been undermined by bulk feed.

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