The Oregon/Idaho Grains Conference hosted in beautiful Portland, Oregon was attended by many of the best and brightest farmers who are working to continue to help the Ag industry. At this conference, Joe officially became the Vice President of the Idaho Grain Producers Association (IGPA), an obligation that he wholeheartedly embraces and devotes a great deal of his personal time to.
One of the dedicated farmers who was recognized and honored for his hard work in the wheat industry was a man named Mark Darrington. After receiving the award, Mark told the story that out of his 4 sons, only one as willing to follow in his dad's footsteps and become a farmer. Farming is a year to year risk and as Mark explained, all of our resources go into putting the crop in the ground and hope for a good harvest. Not many people can or want to take financial risks of that nature. Farmers are a strong breed of men and women who share a love of the land and the desire to put food on every one's table, and I feel very privileged to be a part of this group.
At this conference, I had an interesting experience which again reinforced my views that farmers are thought to be somewhat of a novelty as the bulk of the population rarely has any interaction with those of us involved in agriculture. Case in point: while making a purchase in a department store, a sweet young clerk dutifully asked what brought me to her city (which I am sure she asks that question hundreds of times), so I explained we were here for a farm conference. Once she realized I was an actual farmer, she became quite animated and wanted to know what we grew on our farm, plus she wanted to share her story about her friend who traded her corporate life for one that entailed a foray into some kind of organic farm related venture. The clerk truly was excited to meet a real authentic farmwife and the thought hit me that we are such a minority we are a novelty! This has happened to me many times and each time it does, I come away feeling amazed and blessed that I am part of this industry but also recognize that we, as farmers, must tell our story again and again. What other industry can make the claim that “Today's farmer provides food and fiber for about 140 people—up from just 19 people in 1940” per the Farm Policy Facts website.
In case you were wondering why I don't have pictures of this event... I have to confess I left my camera at home in my haste trying to get to the airport via the snowstorm that was going on at the time. =) So I'll post pictures of winter scenes from our farm like this....
Winter in our area of the country (Northern Idaho) is beautiful and here is a what we enjoy everyday.
|Windmill outside our kitchen window as the sun is setting|
|A view from the back of our house overlooking|
some of our fields
During the banquet, a striking young woman holding a friend’s baby came up to me to tell me she was a fan of this blog. Now that really made my day and I was quite humbled to have someone else in the Ag field seek me out. I never did get her name, but if you are reading this, thank you for the ultimate compliment. =)
As always, I hope you enjoy the blog, email me if you have comments, thoughts, questions and I promise to respond. I also just received permission to document and photograph how Bronzestone Hummus is made, which uses locally grown garbanzo beans. So stayed tuned for more on that!