Things are always really busy this time of year. Picking sweet corn. Bagging sweet corn. Delivering sweet corn. Getting tired of cooking and eating sweet corn… and of course there is that dairy farm thing… and the kids… and tours… and thank goodness I was able to quit Candy Crush cold turkey 6 months ago….But yeah, August is pretty busy so sometimes emails and messages fall through the cracks and get ignored, inadvertently. As luck would have it I just happened to have my phone handy while delivering corn to a local market last Wednesday when a very brief message popped up in my Inbox.
Funny how just a few words can be so important. I’ve been around the hay field enough times to know that when someone asks a farmer a question it is best to answer them. I have also been around enough manure piles to know exactly what kind of videos and “information” are out there so as soon as the corn delivery was complete and I was able to I clicked the link and gave serious thought to the question at hand: “I’m assuming this isn’t the normal farm. ” And that’s when I realized something. I didn’t need to give my answer much thought. I can’t answer for a video I didn’t make and have no first hand knowledge about, but I can provide the truth that I know, and that doesn’t take any crafting-it just takes honesty.
An honest “thank you” for taking the time to ask a farmer. An honest reaction to what is undeniably hard to watch. An honest assessment of who is behind the so-called information and what their real agenda is. An honest description of things that happen on your farm…and a sincere invitation to visit and learn what really goes on at a farm: the good, the bad, and the shitty.
Honesty can take you far. Just a few weeks ago I told a room full of young farmers that they shouldn’t worry about whether they are good at arguing or bad at arguing because all they needed to be is honest. Because being honest about their way of life that they love; their animals that are their No. 1 priority; their farm that is their passion is going to come through loud and clear and drown out the other “information”.
So for the young man who took the time to ask a farmer a question I made the time to be honest. I look forward to showing he and his younger brothers around our family farm in the near future and I am so happy that he is armed with the truth so he can share it with others. Being honest is easy. It doesn’t require creative editing or strategic camera placement or even statements crafted to elicit the most visceral responses with a great deal of disregard for the truth. Honesty conveys commitment, concern, dedication and pride, and that, when it comes to agriculture, should be the norm.