[Section Editor’s Note: The following contains an excerpt from the 2013, 58-Part lecture series, “The Time and What Must Be Done,” Part 36.]
“The student of agriculture”: Wherever I have gone among our young people in Agricultural and Mechanical Land Grant Colleges, when I have asked, “How many of you are studying agriculture?”
I was shocked at how there is only very few who would raise their hand to say they are studying “farming” and “agriculture.” The youth are just not interested in studying farming and agriculture. They just don’t see the value of that.
Did you know that the average age of farmers throughout the world is such that it needs to be studied? The average farmer in Africa is 60 years of age; in the United States, 58 years of age; in Japan, 66 years of age; in Australia, 58 years of age; and in The Caribbean, 62 years of age.
The most striking feature is that although 58.7 percent of Blacks in the cities are under 35 years of age, only 4 percent of Black farmers are under 35! On the other hand, 25 percent of Black farmers are over 70 years of age, while only 5.5 percent of the Black non-farm population is over 70! So when the older Black farmers die off, there is no one to fill the gap.
“The teacher of Agriculture”: Several factors continue to influence the ability in having an ample supply of well-trained, highly-qualified teachers of agriculture vital to sustain and grow agricultural education across the country. There are just not enough qualified teachers to teach agriculture; and because students are going away from it, then these courses are very weak even when they are offered!
These are just a few of the alarming facts of the teacher shortage facing “agricultural education.” If you don’t have a teacher, you can’t produce “a student”—and if you don’t have students taking agriculture, you don’t need an agriculture teacher!
So what does this tell us? It tells us that we are out of “the farming business,” and we are completely dependent on somebody else to feed us! The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “No people can be free with their mouth in the kitchen of another, particularly in the kitchen of our former slave masters and their children.”
As long as we do not own land, we are not going to be a productive people. We will continue to be “a consumer nation.” And as long as we are not respecting the profession of farming and the cultivation of land and producing of quality food, then our life, our health, our well-being is in the hands of our former slave masters and their children.
And you know they don’t know what to do with us; we’ve become a “problem.” With nearly 50 million of us, they won’t be able to provide jobs for us, so many White scientists are thinking, “What can we do with the Negroes?”
According to the most recent United States Census of Agriculture (2007), “farming,” as an “occupation,” has decreased from 64 percent of the labor force in 1850 to less than 1 percent in 2013.
Here we are, in 2013: There are over 313,000,000 people living in the United States, and of that population, less than 1 percent claim “farming” as an occupation; and from over 6,500,000 farms owned by farmers in America at one time, America now is down to 2.2 million farms. So what we are looking at is the destruction of The Engine of National Life.
That’s not only in America, but in The Caribbean, Central America, South America and Africa. So where is the average third world country getting their food? Who is growing it? And what is the quality of the food that third world people are eating?
And even in the developed nations: What is the quality of the food that the American people are eating at the time of this broadcast? What is the quality of food of the European people? The people of Brazil—and all over the world?
You can’t become, or even think, according to the Jewish Talmud, that we are “men” unless we are producers. Look at The Command given to Adam in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1, verse 28: “Adam, multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.” In order to “multiply” you have to have a multiplier and a multiplicand, and you produce a product! So God was saying to Man: “You are not a ‘man’ unless you are a producer!”—and maybe that is why all our lives people have been referring to us as boys…
And “boys” in a house are always looking for mama and daddy to give them something to eat. But when a boy becomes a man, he leaves the house of his mother and father, and begins to produce those necessities for self.
According to the book by Rabbi Julius Newman titled The Agricultural Life of the Jews in Babylonia Between the Years 200 C. E. and 500 C. E., did you know that in the Talmud it was said by Rabbi R. Eleazar that: “…it was essential for every man to be the owner of at least some land.
The same R. Eleazar who preferred business to agriculture maintained that anyone who did not possess real estate was not worthy of the name of man.” (pg. 35)? Brothers and sisters: How much real estate do you own? How much land do we have? And according to the Talmud [Shabbath 25b in The Babylonian Talmud, pt. 2, Mo‘ed, vol. 1 (London: Soncino Press, 1935), 112]:
“Second-century rabbi Tarfon taught that wealth itself was determined by the following criterion: ‘He who possesses a hundred vineyards, a hundred fields and a hundred slaves working in them,’” is a wealthy man. And wherever you find Jewish people in every society in the world, they are possessors of 1.) Land, 2.) Real estate, 3.) Servants, and 4.) Wealth.