I noticed these remarks Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made when I was watching the local news and figured my friends who are farmers would have a problem with them. I found the comments idiotic, but not really surprising considering the source.
“If you want to have your kid run amok 24 hours a day, go live out on a farm somewhere. This is a city and we are going to make sure that we keep our kids safe,” Rawlings-Blake said. “I’m not going to sit by and allow our young people to be either perpetrators or victims of violence when everybody with any common sense knows they should be supervised by a responsible adult.”
I didn’t grow up on a farm but I did have to chase cows out of our backyard back into their pasture a the house I lived in growing up. My grandfather was an agronomy major at Clemson and worked for the USDA. We’d go to the weekly cattle auctions in my hometown as spectators when I was a kid. I had plenty of friends in high school were in FFA and some of my best friends worked on a farm. My great-uncle lived on the family farm in Gaffney, SC (within spitting distance of where the outlets are along I-85 now) where my grandfather used to show me where he plowed the fields with a team of mules when he was a boy. Early to bed and early to rise is pretty much an unwritten law on a farm, and popular culture has generally shown that.
I’m not sure where Rawlings-Blake gets the misguided notion that living on a farm is all fun and games and staying up late. If the unruly youths of Baltimore had grown up on farms, they’d have more discipline. When you have to help out with the family farm business from a young age and you’re getting up before dawn to go milk the cows, you don’t have time for other foolishness. Additionally, you learn a work ethic and discipline that many youth, especially those in cities, seem to lack today.
It’s not like Rawlings-Blake ever has a realistic chance of becoming Governor of Maryland even if she has the ambitions. However, she’d need the support of a lot of Democrats who are farmers, both in Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore. Maybe she should go talk to her fellow Democrat Joe Bartenfelder, a farmer himself, so she can get some semblance of a clue on issues like this.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.