There’s a lot of things about the modern farm that many people don’t see. The moments of passion for the trade, the warm-and-fuzzies that come with the successful birth of a young cow-sheep-pig-goat-something-or-other…but one of the HUGE aspects that many people don’t understand about farming is probably the most common, the most magical, the most special.
Yup, I’m talking about meeting. And yes, I am being sarcastic.
Not all meetings are bad. Today, I had one that was actually incredibly enjoyable! However, just like any other business owner, or manager (or regular ol‘ person, for that matter), farmers have meetings. These meetings range over many different subjects.
Farmers meet with agronomists and specialists, to find the methods that are best for their crops and the Earth. They meet with vets and nutritionists to guarantee their animals lead the best lives possible. They meet with accountants and tax consultants, to juggle the money that there never seems to be enough of. They meet with each other, through grower and raiser organizations. They meet with youth to teach them about their food, their futures, and their community.
Farmers are business owners. They’re members of clubs and communities. They’re supporters of families. Farmers are gluttons for punishment; many purposely attend meetings and take on responsibilities they don’t need to. I know farmers who are 4-H leaders, FFA alumni volunteers, church board members…if there’s a community-involvement group, there’s a farmer somewhere who’s in it!
Whether the meetings are about business, pleasure, or volunteer, they’re a valuable part of maintaining the ag world as we know it. Next time you see a farm guy in a plaid shirt and dirty, work-stained jeans, imagine him in a suit. Behind every pair of steel-toed boots, there are some classy dress-shoes worn to a meeting to keep that farm running.