Friday, March 30, 2012

Answers for tough questions.

Even after 24 hours, a 4 wheeler ride through the cows in eastern Ohio and watching a new calf be born I feel I am still at ah in this Ellen Malloy we met yesterday. Fortunately for us today everyone seems to be blogging.  I am going to share this blog with you, so you can understand the person that I met and thoughts she provoked for this blog and last nights blog.  I will share this with you and hope you read, but please DO NOT RESPOND to her.  Her mind will not be changed and her knowledge of agriculture is too remedial to make sense of.  I will also tell you that she was talking about "us" farmers and ranchers from across the US that invited her to breakfast. I will also say she didn't listen or get to know us so the examples are not specific.

1. How big is too big  for a farm/ranch?
This was one of the first questions asked and I mentioned all of the wonderful partners, the pen rider and feed yard manager we have that have great families and work so hard on behalf of Jake and I's dream.

2. How will you know when you are too big?
I believe Jake and I will be too big when we run out of good people to work with.

3. Your farms sound like factory farms.
There were several vocabulary words thrown around that have very different definitions from different people.  There was a wonderful boy from a large family egg production operation in North Carolina.  It was very interesting to hear him explain the growth in their families egg operation.  They currently offer conventional eggs, cage free eggs and organic eggs.  Basically they offer an egg for every "taste". I was thinking what a way to meet customer demand.  How thoughtful to have options for Americans. They didn't seem to see it this way.

4.I don't believe technology should be used in Agriculture.
There was a woman from Illinois describing her confinement hog operations that is all temperature controlled.  She was explaining if the temperature drops below a certain point the barn calls her cell phone.  That's pretty awesome. They hated the idea.

5. I believe you should get out more to understand what people want from the people who are raising their food.
This was directed at me, from Ellen.  I have traveled and I have seen things.  This farm girl just left eastern Ohio during calving season to come to the big city to meet you.  I was thinking how about you come out and ride the 4-wheeler around a pull a few calves.

6. What are you doing with all the waste you are creating with Agriculture Production?
By this time it was getting heated.  However someone brought up the point that we are much more useful with the waste from our animals than people are with theirs.  Only it was more tactful than that.

7.People should not have choices when purchasing food. i.e. carrots should not come in bags, a cheaper chicken breast should not be offered (only cage free on "family" farms)
At this point I accidently laughed out loud, because I thought this was staged.  People really don't want choices taken away. Do they? Apparently they do and they want to make the choices for you.

8. When do you believe Agriculture crosses the line into industrialization?
Here is a topic worth talking about. We all were very interested in hearing what they thought industrialized agriculture looked like to them. However they had no answers.  One of beef producers from Arkansas who was really well spoken asked if selling eggs to your neighbor was industrialization.  Ellen I believed thought he was mocking her, I thought it to be a fair question.

9. You are a bad mom for raising your children in those circumstances.
OUCH! That is just hitting below the belt to play the your a bad mom card - don't you think?

Afterwards I was listening to Ellen and she was angry and raging.  She was mad about a Nebraska woman for saying that God put us here to care for animals.  She then said this "I don't believe there is a GOD".  I had nothing else to say, the conversation was dead to me and I was saddened for her and thought of Miranda Lambert's advice  "And I just smile and say "god bless" 


  1. Replies
    1. I am really happy to have had a basic Agriculture Education course in high school and to have been part of the FFA program. How about you?

  2. I've enjoyed your last two blog posts. It's incredible to think about how some people's perceptions are so different than our own reality.

  3. I thought much of the time through breakfast of how much people could benefit from a basic agriculture course. Keep up the good work!