Marytina Lawrence, Special to Agweek
I have recently been going through some personal transitions and in that I have seen some definite effects of this time and season that have grossly shifted things on the farm. I would imagine that there are many farm families that experience the same thing at one time or another and decided to share my thoughts on the matter.
It's county fair season. It seems that everyday on social media I am reading about one proud mom or another with wonderful postings about their performances at the local county fair, and it warms my heart. This nostalgic pastime is slowly becoming a thing of the past as I watch the attendance at our fair diminish little by little every year. It used to be the place to go! The county fair was the highlight of the summer in every community.
I always have had mixed emotions about the statement "It takes a village." I think about all the people that move in and out of your lives during the course of time, and I have contemplated the meaning of that statement and whether or not is it truly accurate. That being said, I did recently experience a version of this statement and wanted to share with you the significance of having an infrastructure in your life.
The past two weeks at the farm have been a frenzied mess of activity preparing cattle and moving cattle to their summer homes. I always consider this time of year to be an exciting time for the cows. After a long hard winter filled with cold, snow, wind and rain, the sun begins to peek out from behind months of clouds, the grass stretches up to meet the sun and the begins to grow.
I have spent most of my adult life promoting agriculture. I have always believed it to be an honor and a privilege to be part of the great endeavor of growing food, caring for animals and raising children in an environment steeped in family and tradition. As there are fewer of us choosing to engage in this profession and the ability to survive emotionally and financially becomes more and more complicated everyday, I witnessed a glimmer of hope for the future the other day.
Over the years, we have always had an open door policy on the farm. Some might view that as dangerous to allow anyone to come to the farm an visit, but we have always looked upon visitors with joy. It is always a fun time to have people come to the farm and learn about what we do.
Agriculture. When I say that word it can ignite many types of response in the world today. Farming. Same thing. And food. Does society connect the dots between these three words? With a fact-based viewpoint, I can see the relationship and common thread that runs through these words and creates the fabric of the U.S. But, when we add the color of emotion of our varied culture, those threads create a vast tapestry of opinion about food, farming and agriculture.