Conversation centered around an interesting topic the last few days.
plaid + overalls
Now, you know this isn’t a fashion blog. Not even close. Unless we’re talking about where the material in that super cute top and the leather in those boots came from. The conversation revolving around the perpendicular pattern and the unique all in one jumpsuit came through in the Tuesday #agchat, and again walking into school this morning.
A fellow teacher (with love) cited that my looks/style belonged in a city to a graphic designer or some similar sort, definately not fresh off a farm. I’ll take that as a compliment, roll on, and keep my smelly evening & weekend job.
This started me thinking about all the misconceptions that people have about farmers & ranchers – those involved in producing your food, fuel and fiber. I know others have touched on this topic before, but humor me and see it through my eyes. I’ll try to get it down to top three. (Ok, maybe 5…the farmer keeps throwing more at me.)
Misconception #1: Let’s address the elephant in the room — plaid and overalls. I explained that a bit here, but it bears repeating: comfort, comfort, comfort. Their comfort just so happens to sometimes come in the form of plaid and overalls. As wall street is to suits, farmers are to comfort. You would be too once you check out misconception #2.
Misconception #2: farmers have the easy life. Now this, this is a laugh-out-loud moment. I read a comment on a farm Facebook post recently that brought me to my literal knees. In paraphrase, the comment went something like this:
- “Any government employee could be sent out to do a farmers job.”
I’m sorry, what? Come again? Let me condense one day with my farmer into the occupations that he takes on (keep in mind, they will change daily, weekly, yearly, with the seasons, etc.)
Engineer – Plumber – Educator – Electrician – Diesel Mechanic – Farrier – Auto Mechanic – Veterinarian – Researcher – Truck Driver – Welder – Fence Builder
Please tell me what employee, from any organization, could step into this job cold-turkey and make it work. Farming is a life occupation, and those who do it have a deep-seated passion for their journey. If you have a job, and you do it well, I have great respect for you. Just don’t try to jump ship onto a farm next week and expect miracles or Misconception #3. Consider yourself warned.
Misconception #3: farmers are makin’ bank. Well, you got one thing right – farmers know about the bank. They know their interest rates and when to price a piece of equipment. They know what their calves will bring at the stock sale and how to relate that to their yearly payments. They watch the crop futures like hawks. Kenny Rogers might not have had only gamblers on his mind when he said “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em…”
Speaking of folding, let’s move on to the last misconception farmer has for me this evening.
Misconception #4: farmers don’t care a whit about the land. Why would we bite the hand that feeds us? Literally. Farmers are passionate and make their living off the land — why would we knowingly harm our greatest asset? Do we need support from our industry experts? Most likely. Do we need directives from non-industry experts? Debatable, leaning towards NO. You could run that by Congress or the comment’er from Misconception #2, but one is out of order and the other is out to lunch — so, best of luck.
So here’s to fashion at the farm, government employees, and corn futures. Let’s all band together to paint your town (and world) with the knowledge of AG.