What family means to the farm
I have spent some time incubating on my personal relationship to the "FARM" in the past couple of weeks and it got me thinking -- what does the word "FARM" really mean to me?...
I have spent some time incubating on my personal relationship to the "FARM" in the past couple of weeks and it got me thinking - what does the word "FARM" really mean to me?
I have some ideas about what it means to everyone else. In fact I am in constant study about how the consumer defines that word, how it motivates them emotionally, and what I can do to give them insight about what it means to be a farmer. These are the things I contemplate in the middle of the night when I can't sleep.
I am going to spend the next four columns sharing with you what the word "FARM" means to me. Because, I believe that if I don't understand it for myself, I wonder how good I am at sharing it with others. So bear with me as I go through this exercise and maybe we can all learn something or perceive something differently than we have before.
I love acronyms. I think they help me organize my thoughts and therefore allow me to communicate better. So I have developed one using the word FARM and today we are going to start with the letter F. For me, F stands for Family.
Without family there would be no farm. I was raised on a small hobby farm in central California in the high desert because my parents decided it was a wholesome value-added way to raise kids. I believe they were 100 percent correct in their decision and I am very thankful.
From that small hobby farm experience I gained life-changing opportunities to study agriculture in college, travel the United States promoting agriculture and ultimately settle in the great Midwest married to a farmer who farms with none other than his family.
I am married to a third generation farmer raising the fourth generation. My life is engulfed by the family we have become. As my children become adults and start working on the fifth generation, I look forward to the increase in our family. I live in a literal legacy, steeped in tradition and love. Even with it's challenges, I would choose no other way to live.
Working in a family provides great security, passion and loyalty that is hard to come by these days. The family is the beginning of farming and it provides an infrastructure like no other. And that is why 98 percent of all the farms in America are still run by families just like mine.
This unit is tough even in times of turmoil and trouble. We are not perfect, we do disagree, but we are resilient, with a true understanding of who we are and what we believe. That is what keeps us moving forward, against the odds, against the hardship.
The love of our family knows no bounds and that is what allows us to farm.