Farming is an inconvenience.
Just ask my neighbors, especially after we’ve weaned calves and they [calves] are on their 3-day bawl fest. [Insert]: trouble with sleep quality and quantity.
Just ask those bordering a hayfield that has been freshly fertilized, with the smell of manure wafting better than Glade through the air. [Insert]: a problem with the fragrance of the air.
Just ask Congress, who can’t seem to prioritize a Farm Bill, even after eating (at least) three times a day and polishing their leather shoes. [Insert]: a problem with priority.
Just ask those who got behind a tractor this morning and were reduced to approximately 19 miles an hour, when they were late late late for a very important date date date. [Insert]: a problem with the clock.
Just ask me, who had just put the mini farmers down for nap yesterday when farmer called needing a ride to get from one place to the other to get his truck. [Insert]: trouble with nap management and re-napping.
Just ask those so bound in life who don’t understand that their purchase is actually traced to an actual farmer. Thank a farmer? Why would we ever do that? The grocery store has all I need, I don’t need those farmers. [Insert]: a problem.
Farming/Farmers are an inconvenience.
A (dirty) hobby. A place to avoid an office. A place to play like a big kid and just drive big toys all day.
Webster defines inconvenience as: trouble or problems, or something that causes the trouble or problems. The statements above could very well direct you to view farming or farmers as a trouble, causing problems, like the pesky fly that never seems to leave the kitchen.
What do we do with an inconvenience?
Get rid of it.
Break it off at the knees. Cut off supply. Ignore. Pretend it’s not there.
The above statements might just very well describe the majority of the American population.
A current voice in agriculture speaks with bitter passion, foretelling a speeding train in American agriculture with no brakes. Victor Davis Hanson, also an educator and farmer, is quoted by Ronald Jager in his book The Fate of Family Farming with this:
“…Americans no longer care much where or how they get their food; “as long as it is firm, fresh, and cheap,” they have little interest in preventing the urbanization of their farmland “as long as parks, Little League fields, and an occasional bike lane are left amid the concrete, stucco, and asphalt.” They feel no need for knowing the farmer, “someone who they are not”…What Americans really desire is “the security of the corporation and bureaucracy even as we hate what we become.” We run from the farm “only to dream that it might save us all yet.””
What will it take to help us understand that agriculture is the very backbone of our beautiful country? That the struggle for the soul of agriculture will not be won until our culture accepts and applauds those who provide for them.
“…the verdict on the American family farm does not lie with either the farmer or with those who would devise policies to save him. The verdict lies rather with the American people, and they have now passed judgement.”
Let’s turn it around. Let’s seek to learn about each other in a way that engages thoughtful dialogue and solutions. Let’s insert inspiration instead of inconvenience.
Farming is an inspiration.
Jager, Ronald. The Fate of Family Farming: Variations on an American Ideal. University Press of New England. 2004.