Monday, July 09, 2012

R Ant

I started writing the Farm Side, a weekly farm column in the local daily paper, 14 years ago, served for many years on the local Farm Bureau board of directors, and even started this blog, largely with the intention of helping others understand agriculture. I truly love what we do, wanted to be a farmer since I was a kid (or at least a cowgirl), the outdoors and animals are my life...not just my job.

 It has been a great run and I have met a lot of people who feel as close as lifelong friends even if I have never met them. It has given me an opportunity to communicate with experts in the field from all over the world, whether they be farmers, ranchers, folks involved in ag publishing or researchers. I have learned to bite my tongue....a lot.

With a mere one percent of the population actually engaged in producing food for the other 99%, as well as providing an unimaginable amount of sustenance for millions around the world, promoting and explaining ag seemed like an honorable goal.

However, I am about ready to give up. For every farmer trying to offer a voice of reason about how farming methods have evolved for literally thousands of years, as better and better ways of producing food were discovered, there are thousands, maybe even millions, of armchair agronomists regurgitating animal rights tripe. They would like nothing more than a vegan world...or better yet a world without humans at all.

 I'm tired of ill-informed people watching HSUS ads and sending in their money for the poor puppies and kitties, with no clue that almost all their dough goes to lobby Washington against hard working, truly caring farmers and ranchers. I am tired of people who have never shared space with a farm animal casually deciding that they know more than generations of successful farmers about caring for them. I'm tired of always being told to make nice when the other side has the gloves off and is flinging dirt in all directions.

Just plain tired.

These days it seems I have a strong inclination to just write...and think...about counting birds and taking photographs of same and let the activists change the world as we know it to suit themselves. As my late mother-in-law, born and raised on a farm, and a farmer all her life, said quite often...when the shelves in the grocery store are bare they will see things differently. Meanwhile, we know how to produce food and so we will just keep plodding along at same, with or without the well-meaning, but useless, and often even dangerous, advice.

Yeah, there is a cardinal sitting on the front porch, using the two story front hall as a sounding board for his whistled song...I'll go listen to him! He is probably the loudest cardinal in the country right now, and he knows what he is talking about.


Keith Wilson said...

We all feel your pain and sorrow.
The direction our country is headed gives us chills and a deep burrowing pain in our gut.

When did we as a country lose site of who we are and what liberty really means?

The government limits the price at which milk can be sold, but allows feed bills and fuel bills to increase; the squeeze on the dairy farmers finally breaks. then all we will have is dried milk from China. I guess they feel that milk - like everything else - is a right.

Land of the free? Can't buy 16 ounce coke; we are supposed to drive around in electric cars; we cannot have nativity scenes or say the Pledge of Allegiance in school.
Sure..... home of the brave, land of the free.

Cathy Monroe said...

After following your blog for several years, I'm convinced that I could never be a farmer. I simply don't have what it takes, yet I enjoy that cold glass of milk, that salad and that steak.

We have gone too far in putting the "rights" of animals before the true rights of people. When will we wake up?

Jan said...

I totally understand.

As you know you have been part of my cyber life for many years and I have experienced your fears and frustrations. But please keep writing. There must be some common sense left in the country.

Earl said...

Frank W. James didn't farm this year and closed his blog down. His fields are under others care - but no one is talking to the rest of us about them. I am more convinced that the more certain I am about what I KNOW is correct, the less I care about spreading it - I just know it and would write about it if it were interesting enough. But a great life, is wonderfully boring, catching sight of a beautiful girl, a singing Cardinal, or a great shot, nice ride on the motorcycle are just enough to make my heart sing and me smile. Since the end is near those little pleasures, like reading your blog and looking at your pictures mean more than you know. Glad that you are out there.

Anonymous said...

Love you daughter. Hang in there for us all!

Jeffro said...

I hear you. When all of us are gone and Tyson, Continental et al are shining examples of vertical integration and we'll eat what they want us to eat, whether we like it or not, well, maybe then someone will appreciate your efforts.

Terry and Linda said...

Well said! Makes me just like you we wait...the shelves will grow empty and then maybe someone will finally understand!


Linda said...


Cathy said...

I haven't read the other comments yet . . but . . . wow.

I so understand:

"These days it seems I have a strong inclination to just write...and think...about counting birds and taking photographs of same and let the activists change the world as we know it to suit themselves."

Sandcastle Momma said...

I am a meat eating, milk drinking girl from the beach who knows diddly squat about farming but you have taught me so much. Not that I could show up on a farm and know what to do but I have a much better understanding of farming life and the fight farmers have to fight. The sick thing is the fight you are fighting is to FEED US. Like you don't have enough to worry about just running a farm.
I certainly can't blame you for wanting to write for the joy of writing and always love to see what you've written.
But you should know that for what it's worth you've opened the eyes of a woman all the way across the country and farmers are in my prayers daily.

threecollie said...

Keith, thank you so much for your kind words. I try not to let this kind of thing take a hold of me but sometimes it just does. It is so discouraging....but it does help me focus on the small beauties. You take and Cathy are a great comfort to me

Cathy, thank you for reading and being so supportive. It is folks like you that make it so much fun

Jan, thank you, the same goes both ways as Poodle and Dog is a great favorite of all of ours. The girls often get to you first and are always telling me about what you write. I don't think I could stop writing, but sometimes I think I could stop dairy farming. We haven't made any money doing it in years and being hated and berated sure takes the fun out of it.

Earl, oh, that is such a shame. I didn't always read his blog, but he did a good job. sorry to read it. I am likewise always comforted to read your wise thoughts. You have seen a whole lot more world than I ever will and it is good to know what you think.

Mama, I love you dearly! I hope you will be light on the pen with the rental and room and board on my chair. I keep seeing it there in the living room, right where the kids sit when I am in my Sunday chair and they want to talk to me....I can barely wait!

Jeffro, years ago a big politico, coulda been Algore and I think it was, told an aspiring young farmer to choose another career, as there would soon be no farming in the US. It is very hard to find the quote, but I wrote about it in the Farm Side back when it happened because it ticked me off so darned bad. Guess I should dig through that messy folder of clipped columns....One of the most bountiful, fertile, productive nations in the world and they want to outsource. Bah!

Linda, I find it so frustrating to be utterly unable to reach people, even people I talk to face to face. Farming is so complicated that you have to explain for half an hour before you get halfway to your point...and by then you have lost them if they even believe you at all.

Linda, i know it's preaching to the choir but.....

Cathy, I thank God that there are bright young folks like Ryan Goodman, taking up the torch for ag

SCMomma, I can't possibly thank you enough for your kind words! it goes both ways, as I so love learning about your life there in your beautiful world by the ocean. Thanks!

lisa said...

Us country people that are farmers, ranchers and the ones that just plain love living the country life sure understand were you are coming from and like the hubby says, when the country goes to hell the rest of us will know how to live off the land and we sure won't be going hungry!