Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The Littlest Ag-vocate
(Photo courtesy of Lon Tonneson, Dakota Farmer Magazine)
One of the most important things we can do for agriculture is to tell others about it. People today are interested in where their food comes from and who produces it. Even if they aren't initially, once you strike up a conversation about it, from my experience, their curiousity is sparked, and they start asking questions.
We have never forced farming on our children. As parents, Jeremy and I believe that our children will be capable of whatever they set their mind to. If they choose a career in agriculture, so be it. If not, we will be equally proud of them. This being said, they are around agriculture everyday. Jeremy and I are passionate about what we do, we sincerely enjoy farming, and I think it's rubbing off.
Our oldest daughter, now three and a half, knows more about where food comes from than most adults I know. She has studied our equipment (from a safe distance, with close supervision), checked seeding depths, will tell you that you need to dump into the semi when the combine hopper is full, and can identify our equipment from the neighbor's from miles away. She understands that we make food ingredients, that once processed, end up on the grocery store shelves and then on our plates.
She'll tell you about ALL of this fearlessly. With a friendly smile, she'll proudly talk to people we see at church, at the store, and at her school, about how our family raises their food. She even swears that her father's name is "Jeremy Farmer Robert Wilson". Not kidding. She's the littlest ag-vocate I know, but her approach is very effective and she is giving our farm a face. A rather cute one, if I don't say so myself.
I think we can all learn from this. In each situation we are presented with we should be ag-vocates. It doesn't have to be rehearsed and it doesn't have to be high tech. It's as simple as smiling, shaking a hand, and being proud of what you do.
To learn more about telling your agriculture story go to http://www.ageducate.org/ and http://www.agchat.org/