Well, those greedy green-thumbs are at it again! They’ve gotten ahold of Cal Poly’s new master plan and, as usual, started pointing their soiled fingers toward the top of the food chain. When will these salt-of-the-earth types learn their place?
Yes, they may be responsible for providing our fine country with food and fiber, but in reality, these things merely serve to fuel the real purpose of the good ol’ USA: Business. Discussions. Deals. Delegation. The kind of business that requires new hotels and conference centers on the finest (specifically, class 1 agricultural) land on campus. Now you’re really hitting them where it hurts: their beloved dirt. Is it your fault that this treasured topsoil is becoming more and more important for the future of sustainable agriculture? If they were so concerned with preserving it, why have they just been sitting around while more than half of it has been lost over the last century or so? Where did it go?
Well, most of it went to industrialization, or what visionaries like you and I know as progress. To hell with the future of American agriculture! We’ve been using delegated labor for most of that work for generations now anyway. It’s time to do away with childish gardens and get back to what we do best: building modest yet appropriately comfortable conference centers and hotels in which discourse and dialogue is enjoyed over fine meals and even finer wine. Current projections estimate the need for a 70 percent increase in food production within the next 50 years. Let’s let China worry about that. All we’ll need to worry about is ensuring just the right amount of political maneuvering and technological prowess to own and influence these overseas farming operations from afar. No more dirty boots here in America!
Does it really matter that hundreds of future horticulture students may go through their entire college career without stepping foot inside a greenhouse? Most of them spend their class time playing Farmville anyway. Why not cater to their preference for virtual farming and design the programs accordingly. No more “learn by doing” for these lucky students. I propose a “learn by theory” approach. The horticulture and crop science students can be the guinea pigs for now, but eventually it’s a direction the entire campus should go. Really, you’re doing them a favor. Who in their right mind would want to till and toil in the soil for a living? Trust me, I do it nearly every day. It’s no walk in the park (or arboretum). Can you imagine what those working conditions would do to a fresh Armani three-piece? They should be thankful that there are men like you and Dean Thulin out there willing to make those tough calls. Instead, they whine and throw tantrums. Pessimists.
But I’ve got to hand it to you, old boy: It takes some chops to both literally and figuratively uproot decades of horticultural development and replace it with a playground for some thoroughbred nags and their equine companions. I just hope they reserve special box seats for you and yours. As for me, I’ll probably skip the whole dog and pony show and continue to do my part redirecting the antiquated ag industry from the inside. I won’t kid you here; you’ll likely face some pretty harsh criticism for these extremely progressive and courageous decisions, but just remember that every king must sacrifice a few pawns in the pursuit of victory.
-- Jordan Marcellus - Cal Poly SLO Alumnus, B.S. Crop Science, 2011