Minnesota Farmer

Telling our story
January 30, 2010, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Ag education, Ag promotion, Farm, Farm Bureau, P & E, Politicians

I’m just back from the Minnesota Farm Bureau Promotion and Education (P & E) meeting held in Minneapolis this year.  P & E is set up to help educate farm folk so they can tell their story to non farm folks.  Why? because if we don’t, folks who have no idea what goes on on the farm will tell the world their version, a version with no basis in reality.

Agriculture and other non urban places are in danger of being loved to death.  Folks who live in the city, drive through rural areas on their way to vacations, and see all that open space and breathe all of that fresh air, and want it to remain just that way forever.  They want to protect it from those who would harm it and will believe anyone with a “horror story” of what is happening in rural areas.

The fact is that things are not a bad as all of the fear mongers tell you.  The American Farmer is a scientist with a skid loader rather than a pitch fork.  He is an ecologist with tractor rather than a team of horses.  He is a nutritionist with computer rather than a note pad and pencil.

A farmer will work long hours, in worse conditions, for less pay, than anyone I know, and love every minute of it.  A farmer takes better care of his animals than he does himself.  He will see both more and less of his family then most parents, more because he works with them, less because when it’s milking time, he will have to miss his child’s big game.

A farmer can look across his field and see the weeds that no one else would notice.  He can tell when animal is sick by the way it looks at him.  He knows when something is wrong in the machine he is operating by the way his seat vibrates.

The American Farmer today produces more food with less water, land, fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides than he did just ten years ago.  He does all of this while battling politicians who don’t understand him, city folks who want to live where he raises their food, government workers who want to regulate his every waking moment and environmentalists who don’t know that he is one of them.

I’m proud to be one of those misunderstood folks.  I hope that those of you who read these posts will come to understand what I do.  If you have a question, I’ll be glad to try to answer it.



1 Comment so far
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Michael, you’re doing a superb job at doing just that – explaining/sharing the days of a life of an American farmer (plus sharing a little opinion here and there to keep things nice and interesting 🙂 Keep up the great work and mahalo for sharing your life with us!

Comment by Tom Graham

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