Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Farmers Expressing Themselves?

An organic farmer, during a recent presentation, talked about the influences and systems to some of what he sees within agriculture in the United States.

He gave the story of picking up a bag of potato chips and looking at the ingredients listed on the back of the bag. The list of ingredients was as artificial as they sounded. At the end his comparison was that the list was an example of corporations "expressing themselves." His story was in regards to the lack of labeling in regards to GMO's. And he was exactly right. Just as a leader in a state can threaten to "kick your butt," and get away with, so are products not labeled with GMO's, are corporations expressing themselves.

Right now, many farmers are in the midst of preparations and planning for the upcoming season. Many are having the ability to get things started early due to the unseasonable warm weather. On April 1st we hit 95 degrees around Ceresco. Sunny, windy, balmy, red flag warnings, all in the middle of March in Nebraska. Certainly Mother Nature is expressing herself.

Consumers express themselves on a daily basis. The nature and the scope of what one eats and drinks each day is a reflection on who they are and what they are. In deed, the foods and drinks we eat certainly from a biological standpoint influence our bodies makeup. Choosing to spend your dollars local is an expression of ones values. Buying from a local farm or artisian is expressing trust and appreciation in the way that farmer grows, raises and produces their prodcuts.

So what about farmers? Farmers express themselves in various ways throughout any given day. Growing your own food is an expression of values. Growing food for your local community is an expression of trust and of social responsibility to be a part of that community, and an active and positive participant. Various farming methods express a farmers core beliefs in caring for the land and being a steward of the animals and foods produced. How do your farming practices express your beliefs and values?