For many Americans, New Year's brings with it a recommitment to health. Whether it's spending more time at the gym or eating less junk, the motivation for improving personal health and fitness seems to peak as the calendar year turns. Along with our personal resolutions, Steph Larsen with the Center for Rural Affairs in Nebraska (a recent Farm Aid grant recipient organization) urges us to fight for the health of our farmers and, in turn, the health of our country through health care reform. Self-employed, most farmers are on their own when it comes to health insurance. According to a recent Access Project report, 23% of farmers struggle with health care costs; and of those who struggle, 42% of their income on average is spent on insurance premiums and other medical costs.
Without a stable and affordable health care system in place to keep America's family farmers on the land and thriving, our country will continue to face challenges in growing the farm-fresh and sustainable food we need to keep our population healthy and energized. Furthermore, it becomes all the more difficult to attract new farmers to the land. Good food = good health = good food = good health. Whether we're talking about our own bodies, family farmers or the state of the nation, let's resolve in 2009 to think about the health needs of all!
To learn more about health care reform issues and for some suggestions on how to get involved, check out Steph's recent post to the Ethicurean.