One of the challenges of our privileged times of choice and plenty: We want what we already have and we want a label for it...it really shouldn't be this hard.
Posts tagged ‘knowyourfarmer’
Spending the bulk of the week in Dallas, Texas with a whole passel of Dairy Farmers…EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of them an Agvocate, even if they don’t know it and thought this was a timely re-post. Who did you talk to today about the food you put on their table?
One of the best things about being a farmer is being able to make your way of life the way you make your living, and usually that means being able to call home your workplace. That’s also one of the downsides to being a farmer: when you don’t get off the farm much you don’t really get to talk with folks…you know, the folks that don’t trip over semen tanks, keep tow chains and bags of seed corn in their trucks, or treat sunrise as the halfway mark of their day. When you don’t talk to THOSE folks they don’t get to know you and they certainly don’t stand a chance of understanding what it’s really like to be a farmer. That’s why it’s not only important to get off the farm but also make the most of those off farm adventures.
It’s not every day that a dairy farmer…
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...along with all the blessings of being a farmer there are the heartaches and pain that sometimes drown out all the good things. But because we are farmers we don't step back long because it's okay to get riled up. It's more than okay to fight for what's right. It is never wrong to protect your own, we just have to do it between milkings and after the crops are in... and we have to remember to #justsmile.
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, is the norm.
"These are the kind of moments that you can’t buy: someone WANTS to hear you tell them why your family farm is such a great asset to its community; why your family farm is hell bent on caring for your animals and the land; why the milk your cows produce is some of the highest quality, safest and most nutritious out there. This is one of those perfect, golden opportunities that only happens when you step off that farm and engage the person who doesn’t know a thing about you or your farm."