Agriculture is a huge part of mine and my husband's lives. It controls our schedule, where we work, our finances, where we live, our interests, and the people we share some of our time with.
And it controls our thoughts and our emotions.
We're just small Hoosier conventional soybean and corn farmers but I couldn't imagine living our life without farming or being involved with agriculture. I think about where we would live, what our landscape would look like or what we'd do with the extra money we've invested into keeping the farm going.
I don't think about it very long because it's well, just something I. don't. like. to. think. about.
We have so much invested in agriculture.
If you're married to a farmer or you are a farmer or both, you know exactly what I am talking about.
Recently, it seems like many others off the farm have taken an interest in agriculture as well.
They're concerned with the seeds we plant, the chemicals we APPLY, the ground we use, the taxes we pay, the fuel we use, the income we make, the roads we use and where our crops go post harvest.
Some think it's a sin that we grow grain that could possibly go towards feeding the animals that we eventually consume. Some think it's a sin that we grow genetically engineered crops even though they have no reasoning to back up that thinking. Some think it's a sin that we are tearing up their roads and wasting their tax dollars. Some think we are sinning by poisoning their air with the pollution from our tractors.
They've never worked on a farm let alone even visited a farm.
But for some reason, they think they know exactly how we should farm.
It's hard not to take offense to some of the accusations being made towards agriculture. In fact, there have been times where I've dwelled on it all too much.When I talk about agriculture on my blog or in person, I am as transparent as can be. We have nothing to hide.
But yet, we are constantly accused of hiding something.
People are sending drones over farms. People are hiding in the corn fields and spying on farmers. They're sneaking into farms on school field trips and taking pictures, creating false captions of what is really happening in that photo. People are spreading lies all over the internet, in the newspapers, on billboards and on TV.
But yet, we are the ones accused of lying.
The only thing that I can come up with is that people need to blame something for the bad that goes on in this world.
So, let's blame the thing we are disconnected from. Let's blame the thing we know absolutely nothing about. Let's blame the thing that keeps use alive.
Go ahead. Let's do it.
Agriculture can handle it. We've got nothing to hide.
They, the ones who are off the farm, go in at 8 and clock out at 5. They come home to their families or onto other activities like a switch that goes off.
Farmers don't have a switch. We never turn off.
We're constantly growing, changing and inventing.
We talk about our crops at the dinner table. We take field trips to machinery factories to see the next big feature on a new implement. We get together with other farmers to discuss new ideas. We read agriculture headlines daily. We study the latest technologies in farming and we dream of using as many as we can someday. We work with agronomists and soil scientists to figure out the best way to take care of the soil we love. We volunteer in our rural communities and spend our paychecks there. We invite them to do all that too. But they won't.
We are learning by doing and doing by learning. We are addressing food and other agriculture needs, protecting our soil and environment, renewing our resources and improving the quality of life off and on the farm.
They are reading lying memes on the internet, watching shows with "doctors" who are paid by companies to bash on various industries, falling for the marketing scare tactics on the menus at a fast food Mexican restaurant as they munch on their calorie packed burritos and marching against amazing, global changing companies that have done more good than they'll ever know because they refuse to believe the positive.
Who are you going to believe? They or us?
Please take into consideration the families and the legacies involved in small agriculture when you stand against the idea of big agriculture. Big agriculture doesn't exist. Factory farms do not exist.
Old McDonald's farm doesn't exist, either.
Old McDonald's farm went under when they decided to get big money desk jobs and move to the city. Old McDonald's farm diminished when they wanted to spend their spare time watching ball games with their family instead of homesteading.
Somewhere between these "factory farms" and Old McDonald's farm lies a small portion of our country's population.
People like myself and my husband.
Living our dream so you can live yours.