Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good Steward in Farming and Life Part 2

As mentioned in the Good Steward Part 1 blog, our interactions with others are important. I think for too long producers just went about their work and assumed people understood what we were doing and why. But that is not the case, as those of us in the Ag industry are realizing that mainstream America may truly not know where their food comes from nor why farmers/ranchers do the things that we need to do on our farms and ranches. It's a serious wake-up call for us when we find ourselves having to conform or work through adverse policies and regulations imposed upon us by those in power who may not understand what the outcomes will be. Do we need to remind the EPA and special environmental interest groups that farmers feed the world?

Personally, I think education and reaching out to others is up to us in order to begin bridging gaps that have been created. It may not be perfect, but it is a start. We also need to begin being approachable and telling "our story" as we are the ones who live it. At a recent conference we were told "if farmers don't tell their own story, it will get written for us, and it may be unfavorable".

Yes it takes time out of our operation and lives to volunteer in organizations, attend meetings or participate in worthy functions, but it is the right thing to do and it helps others.

For example, earlier in October my sister-in-law, Lisa and I were co-hosts for the Pink Tea. This is a community fundraising event for breast cancer awareness & treatment. All proceeds go to our local hospital wherein an account is set up to pay for mammograms for women who could not afford to have one. Over 500 women participate in the great event. Each hostess is in charge of table decorations and this year Lisa was in charge and we were the "Farm Goddesses"! Note the "pink" wheat bouquet as well as the pink John Deere hats that we were wearing. Pictures will be uploaded soon!