Writer’s note: As a finalist in the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Excellence in Agriculture competition, I had the opportunity to share my background and contributions to agriculture, but also pressing issues I see impacting agriculture today. I’ll be covering these issues in my blog.
I’m going to be honest. This is an issue that bothers me to the core, yet is often is the hardest for me to talk about. I love agriculture. It’s intertwined into my life through my work, family, friends and community. This issue tears me apart inside. I recognize it’s easy to push it aside and put up barriers. But, it can’t be ignored anymore.
You may know what I’m talking about. There’s a major divide within agriculture, whether it’s large vs. small, organic vs. traditional, grass-fed vs. grain fed, and so on. I admit there are a lot of layers to this issue. Some of it has been fueled by food marketing and by consumers who want to know how their food is produced. And, I think the later fact is a good thing. That’s what we’ve been working to accomplish with programs like Ag in the Classroom and outreach through local FFA chapters. But, we need to do more to come together in agriculture.
So, what can be done to unite our agricultural community internally? This is a big issue that will take time and work from many of us in our day-to-day lives and work in agriculture. For me it has been about:
I own and manage Cylon Rolling Acres in northwestern Wisconsin. On my farm I raise Boer - Kiko meat goats on pasture.
Cylon (pronounced Si-lon) is the name of our township in St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Sorry fans, our farm is not named after the robots of Battlestar Galactica.