Life on a family dairy farm
in the wilds of
Upstate New York
Monday, July 09, 2012
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.