I love what you do, but we need to talk.
I know that you work long hours and do grueling hard work.
I know that you tend to crops or care for animals. Perhaps even both.
I know that you get to experience the joy of life and the finality of death which both are sobering – even after you’ve given it everything you have.
I know that farming is challenging and that you are human and that you make decisions that are the best for your animals or for the land.
I know that you not only brave the singing heat in the middle of July surrounded by what may seem like a suffocating humidity but also the cold snow in the winter that is much worse than a dusting and incredible wind and unexpected storms.
I know you work holidays, birthdays and pretty much every other day of the year in some capacity.
I know you most likely have a family you cherish deeply and that they mean the world to you.
I know that you live your life every day with compassion for the consumers of your final product even if it seems like no one else realizes it.
I know that you’re doing things sustainably because if you’re not sustainable you won’t make it in agriculture.
I know you’re utilizing some form of technology to make the product you harvest better by producing something that is high quality with less inputs.
I know you’re not trying to poison the earth or the animals.
I know its trying when you feel like you fight with the food marketers when you step into the grocery store. (At least it drives me crazy if nothing else).
I know there are some who don’t understand what you do because less than two percent of people do it in our great nation.
I know there are even some detractors who spread ugly misinformation about what you do and are very aggressive online.
I know all of this and I don’t know everything by any stretch of the imagination. It’s obvious that many don’t.
I know you’re busy, but I just have one request.
Please share what you do with people that don’t know.
Because they don’t know.
People are not inherently bad or evil.
People are not ignorant.
People have never had the opportunity to experience what you do day to day.
They want what they feel is best for the land and the animals.
Sometimes they may not have information that is science backed to tell them what that is.
They may not understand the precepts of animal welfare that are incorporated into any system.
You may not like social media. You may love social media.
The fact is that it really doesn’t matter anymore.
You are capable of sharing what you do with others through a variety of social mediums.
Do not doubt your ability, I do not.
Some may feel that it’s none of the consumers business.
It is their business and many are engaged.
Moreover let me share something with you that I have found.
Detractors are loud.
They mobilize many people who vote in others they feel are like minded.
Those that are voted in statistically probably don’t share an agricultural background.
Yet, all of these people are now making the rules.
For your family.
For your farm.
It really is simple.
If you want to continue to have the freedoms that you do to produce your best product in the way you know is best for the land and the animals, you need to speak up.
It’s like choosing to not drop your ballot into the box and then being upset about who is elected.
For some sharing what you do everyday may seem frightening because you feel as if you don’t know how.
Some posts are better than others, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post.
You don’t need a fancy camera or know how to make an infographic, though you can definitely learn.
Your image or story may be as close as anyone ever comes to experiencing what life is like for those producing their food.
I love what you do.
I love sharing what I experience being an agricultural communications major.
But I am not a farmer.
I don’t have a farm I personally own that I can photograph each day to share why things are done the way they are.
But you have a farm and really the opportunities are endless.
You are incredibly blessed with what seems to me like an infinite amount of things to share.
You are absolutely amazing. Please never forget that.
The sky is the limit.
I’m no social media wizard. I don’t post every day. But I’d be happy to share what I know if there’s some interest.