by Dan Gisselquist
We as a community seem to be of a difference of opinion regarding how farm land is to be managed. We all wish to enjoy the wonderful pastures, the gentle rolling hills, and the quiet peace of a countryside that is near to Washington, DC. In general, an individual’s ideology places him into one of three groups.
One group represents those who understand that land is more than a panoramic picture. It is a responsibility. These peaceful pastures need management, care and tending. It was for this cause that God placed man into His garden, “to dress it and to keep it.” (Gen 2:15)
But God also said, “the husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.” (2 Tim 2:6) This group, therefore, understands that a farmer has the God given right to live off of the proceeds of tending God’s garden.
There is a second group here in Fauquier that does not trust the land owners within our county to maintain the precious and peaceful countryside God has given us. This group believes that the land is spoiled when large groups from the city come to visit it, to share in the joy of God’s garden, or to eat from the produce God has given us.
This group does not recognize the God given right of the landowner to enjoy the fruits of his labor, or to live off of the land he works. This group believes that the only way to keep the garden God has given us is to enslave the farmer. This group will not be happy unless all
farmers use the land in the fashion that they dictate and none other.
The third group believes that government can solve the contention between these other two groups. It is this third group that has written the law before us. This group believes that government bureaucrats with little to no knowledge of farming or land management can ensure the continued peaceful countryside that we have all had the opportunity to enjoy.
Ladies and Gentlemen listen to this logic!
“If no one among us is capable of governing [even] himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?” Thus, if a farmer cannot be trusted to manage his own land, what makes us think we can manage it better on his behalf?