The Farmer saw the above graph recently. As you can see, it shows that over the 39 year period 1970 – 2009, the number of doctors in the US increased by something like 100%.
During that same time, the number of administrators and support staff working in the health care field increased by over 3,000%.
But guess what? Farming is no different. Administrative needs have ballooned.
Why? Well, step into The Farmer’s world and let him explain.
The government likes to regulate farms just as much as they do everything else. And to some extent, farms have to adapt to the current cultural norms to stay viable.
So here are some of the many behind the scenes activities that The Farmer and (mostly) The Farmer’s Wife get to deal with.
- Maintain a Godaddy account to host this website. There are at least three separate logins and passwords. Since we control the website and blog, we are responsible for performing the software updates, DNS registration, and solving some email problems. When your blog allows comments, someone has to moderate them.
- Learn the Mailerlite system for our farm emails.
- Create/maintain a Square account which allows us to take credit card payments.
- Create/maintain a Paypal account which provides an alternative payment system.
- Learn the Ecwid system to maintain the online store.
- Track the TracFone account (for accepting credit cards away from a WiFi connection).
- Maintain our FMNP account so that we can accept FMNP vouchers as payment for produce.
- Monitor legislative and other alerts from the Farm Bureau. (A recent one warned about the difficulties of getting people to haul away your sick or dead animals.)
- Complete the USDA’s Agricultural Census. (Yes, there is an entire website devoted to the census.)
- Create a Google account and grab their “My Business” listing, and perhaps maintain current information on sites like localharvest.
And then we have local issues, like filing papers with the Town of Onondaga regarding our agricultural district and agricultural land tax discount. A business account at the credit union needs to be monitored. Our federal taxes requires completing an extra form.
And the list could go on. Did we mention monitoring educational opportunities provided through the Small Farm program at Cornell, or following developments in soil nutrition, or keeping up to date with issues involving Organics with our friends at NOFA, …
In summary: Let’s give a big cheer and “Thank You” to The Farmer’s Wife who handles these issues with grace and dignity.
PS Now, back to the chart at the top of this post. The Farmer did due diligence, and wants to let you know that there has been some discussion as to what the chart really means and how accurate it is. Apparently records from the 1970s are sparse. But another article from 2013 clearly shows that the trend has been toward adding administrative staff to medical institutions over the years.