I talk about our farm a lot. I am passionate about sharing our unique story of agriculture, telling others about our farm, and writing about agriculture.
I was recently confronted with a question, though: Why? Why do you do it? Why is it so important to you? Why do you continually talk about your farm?
Two reasons: Adam and Isaac.
I talk about my farm because I want it to be there. I want my farm to last to the next generation. I want it to be available for them if they want to carry on the family tradition of farming.
But I truly believe that the opportunity for my kids to farm is at risk. Of course, we’ll always need farms, and of course, those farms will change. But what we’re facing on American farms right now is a tough battle. Farmers are no longer trusted to make their own decisions and raise food the way that they know is right. Instead, large corporations and small, but vocal, groups of consumers are trying to change the way that things are done in agriculture.
And I’m not just referring to gestation crates or antibiotic use. The changes are bigger than that. The changes are a movement from farmers making decisions based on their knowledge, their vast experience, and the generations of farmers before them, to decisions being made by those off the farm, who have somehow decided that there must be a better way.
For the most part, I believe that those who want agricultural change are not doing it out of malice. They are simply, and innocently, believing mistruths put forth by media and activists.
So although the farm may still exist for the next generation, will the decision-making capacity be there? Will the independent, work-for-yourself, risk and reward lifestyle that so many farmers thrive on be there? Or will our farms be guided by those who have never stepped foot on one?
That’s why I talk about my farm. To build trust. To clear-up misconceptions. To connect with those off the farm, and share what I know and love.
I do it for my boys.
I do it for the next generation.
I do it for the future of Iowa.
I do it for the future of agriculture.