Thank a farmer
November 30, 2009
Agriculture advocates are working hard to educate Americans about farms and food. Twitter has the #thankafarmer initiative, with nearly 4,000 tweets using the hashtag so far. Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson declared Nov. 20 “Thank a Farmer” Day. USDA rolled out its “Know Your Farmer, Know your Food” campaign, saying “Today, there is too much distance between the average American and their farmer.” One advocate, Gene Hall, PR director for the Texas Farm Bureau (@TxAgPRGuy) summed it up in a recent tweet, “With city folks 3 generations from farm, we have a disconnect. That’s why web and soc med are so important.”
As a relative newcomer, farming is a culture to me. Agriculture influences where we live (10 miles from the nearest town), what we eat (homemade wheat bread), what we talk about (fertilizer, planting conditions, yields), the slang we use (cutting wheat, working ground), even when we take vacation (between wheat harvest and wheat planting). Agriculture also provides the wonderful opportunity to integrate work with family. My kids tag along with field work. They spend hours jumping in and out of hay bales and chatting with V. and their Grandpa at the machine shed.
I hope I’m doing my part to spread the word about agriculture. I’m proud to teach wheat science classes for the Extension service. This year, I’ll bring along our own wheat seeds to show the kids. And, I was very pleased when my “tweet cloud” showed that “Kansas,” “wheat,” and “thanks” were my top three words.
I pledge to do more, helping connect others to the way of life I love.