How do we value farming and agriculture?

Starting 2017, Massachusetts state minimum wage increased from $10 to $11 per hour, yet the farm minimum wage remains unchanged at $8 per hour. Food is a basic necessity yet we drive the perceived cost down with a variety of policies and regulations that have many consequences. As the owner of a small farm, I compete with farms that drive their costs down by paying their staff as little as possible. As a concerned citizen, I am appalled that we expect people to live off these wages and how we don’t value farming and agriculture. No – I don’t pay my valued employees farm minimum wage.