I was a little dismayed just now when, while skimming a post on Facebook, I saw someone post this:
Someone convince me all [our] discussion about food and farms is making a difference!
Now, as someone who has spent a lot of time having discussions about food production and farming, I got really disappointed that a comment like this could be coming from one of our own. Do we really think sharing our stories and talking to people about where their food comes from is a waste of time? Are we really so jaded by bad experiences that we think it isn’t worth it?
I sure hope not.
No matter what I hope for, though, I want to hear from others. Are you a non-farmer who thinks differently about agriculture because of something you learned from talking to a farmer? Are you a farmer who is more optimistic about our future because of an experience you had with someone who doesn’t farm, but wanted to learn more about where their food came from? Please help me feel a little better about all the hard work we do to “agvocate” – because I refuse to believe that it isn’t making a difference.
I know I’ve been rather absent from the blog these past few weeks, but it has been absolutely crazy. This week, I will be making one of the most important decisions of my career — selecting my first job.
My friend Janice has been using her blog to keep us up-to-date on the flooding of the Mississippi River over the past couple of weeks as its been affecting Memphis, where she lives. Thankfully, all of her family is alright and none of her possessions have been damaged. She’s been one of the lucky ones, though, and I’m keeping in my thoughts all of those people who have no home to go to now and are trying to figure out where to go next. I can’t even fathom what it’s like to be in that situation and hope everything turns out alright in the end.
Sometimes when we’re in agriculture, we think we know it all. Heck, we know more about how food is grown that your typical food purchaser, right? Every so often, though, we get a slap in the face that says ‘Come down off your all-knowing high horse!’ and we’re reminded that there’s still plenty to learn, no matter if you’re conventional, organic, big, small, orange or purple (although, orange is still the best, in my opinion!).
A couple of months ago, I was offered the opportunity to do a technical article about a new ag chemical for an agricultural newspaper in the state. Of course, I said I’d do it – no problem. I’m in NAMA, I write for ANR Communications, I’ve freelanced, I’m a senior in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University — I can handle a technical piece about a new agricultural input. No sweat.
Psh, boy do I still have more to learn.
Besides realizing that a single Introduction to Crop Science class four years ago does not make me the next Norman Borlaug, I also figured out real quick that names of chemical compounds and active ingredients make about as much sense to me as Charlie Brown’s teacher. I’m really grateful there are scientists out there that understand how different chemicals and products can help farmers, but I’ll be the first to admit that I will not be joining their ranks any time soon. I will be plenty happy to continue learning as much as I can about segments of agriculture that I’m not familiar with so I can keep developing my abilities as an educator and communicator.
Have you ever run into a moment where you remembered ‘Oh, yeah. I don’t always know as much as I think I do.’ How do you get over it and learn?