“Farmland” on the Big Screen

A couple weeks ago, my good friend Katie treated Adam and I to the opening night showing of Farmland. Katie grew up on a farm and, quite honestly, she was one of my first tastes to the amazing community that farmers hold each other in.

The movie was at a chic theater in Indianapolis (… A theater where you could order a glass of wine for the movie. If more theaters did this I might consider going to the movies more often than the time that has passed between now… and when the last Harry Potter movie came out.)

Farmland_(2014)_documentary_film_poster

And as the credits started rolling, Adam turned to me with the biggest smile on his face.

He was still beaming as we walked out of the theater and asking, “So, what did you think?” over and over.

Honestly, I thought it was very good, but that seemed so generic to say at that moment.

I needed more time to process it all.

There was so much information. Emotion. Stories. Passion.

Lots and lots of thoughts were running through my head.

For me, it wasn’t like watching your childhood heroes like it was for Adam.

From my stand point, it was like watching a captivating, information packed segment on Dateline or the Today show. Except it was eighty minutes long.

I reversed and asked him what he thought.

“I think everyone needs to see it” he responded without hesitation.

I couldn’t help but agree. The thought had crossed my mind.

In this day and age where everyone is so quick to judge farmers based on what they see in paranoid food blogs and Food, Inc., Farmland is a strong rebuttal. (I am not sure if it was designed that way, but I also couldn’t help but find it ironic that Farmland’s final shots were set to an upbeat version of “This Land is Your Land.” Food, Inc. ended with a somber “This Land is Your Land.”)

I’ll admit. Food, Inc. got to even me. As I started this blog, I knew I had to watch it.

So, I picked it up at the library last spring and after viewing it I decided that if I am in control of the meat I eat, I wanted to know where it came from.

At home this wasn’t hard. I bought meat at the farmers market or from people we know. But, out and about? That was hard.

So, my post Food, Inc. resolution lasted about three weeks.

Farmland addresses those horrible images that Food, Inc. shares that got me to reconsider my burgers and steaks.

The images of a cow being rolled over by a fork lift. Or the guy kicking a pig with all his might.

All the farmers featured in the video agreed that those images make them mad. Sick. Angry.

One mentioned on how their animals are their livelihood. They can’t make a profit with a poor product. In turn, they love the animals they tend to.

Another said, “All kinds of industry have their bad apples and they ruin it for everyone”

It’s true.

Bad press and bad stereotypes are found in any and every industry.

Teachers? Lazy. Over paid baby sitters. And, how about the ones sleeping with their students?

Nurses? Drugging their elderly or mentally disabled patients so that they don’t have to deal with them.

Sales people? They are greasy, aggressive and will do anything just to make a buck.

Doctors? Often running drug rings out of their practice and buddying up to the pharma reps just for the all-inclusive vacation.

Politicians? Do I really even need to go there?

The thing is, food is personal.

Food is the one thing that everyone uses everyday. (Multiple times a day!)

And thanks to the propaganda images and news articles from a few “bad apples” in the agriculture industry, people are quick to judge farmers.

Now more than ever, people feel like they need a connection to their food. They feel that they deserve to know how the food was produced. They want to see the face behind their meal.

So… go get it.

Make connections with local growers. Ask questions of the people who actually do the work.

Take all internet boards and propaganda with a grain of salt, and take it upon yourself to get the whole story before forming opinions or assuming everything you hear is a fact.

In fact, watch Farmland.

I have asked so many questions and read so many books and articles over the last two to three years about our food system, to the point that I think I could hold pretty good ground in intelligent conversations about farming, local food, organics, scare tactics, etc. But, I still learned so much from Farmland.

For example: No added hormone’s in chicken.

Sounds good, right? Most consumers would rather buy the chicken labeled no hormones added versus the one that didn’t have this label.

Guess what?

Some marketer thought it sounded good too.

No farmer is adding hormones to chickens. One company just made it big and bold on their label so everyone thought that this chicken was better for them than the other.

I am pretty sure I have even boasted in this blog about how our backyard chickens don’t have any added hormones. Which, yes, is true. But, in that regard, it puts them on the same level as any other chicken out there.

The information provided in Farmland is eye opening and presented at a level that is simple to understand. And, that may be because the six farmers are showcased in the documentary are in their 20’s and 30’s. It felt like I was watching and learning from people who could easily be Adam and my friends.

Each of these farmers come from very different kinds of farming, such as big organics in California, ranching in Texas, commodity crops in the Midwest, and organic CSA’s in New England. But, they did a great job speaking about the realities that the entire industry shares like the weather, the current age demographic in agriculture, the stereotypes they face each day, the up and coming technology propelling the industry to be able to serve the demand, and their unfaltering passion to continue to grow our nation’s food.

If you grew up around farming and love agriculture, go see Farmland.

If you have never met a farmer and want to know more about agriculture, go see Farmland.

If you swear by organic food, go see Farmland.

If you don’t think GMO’s are a big deal, go see Farmland.

If you saw Food, Inc., go see Farmland.

If you buy food, go see Farmland.

Everyone should see it.

Use it as a tool to help you form your own opinions, but keep learning.

The film is in select theaters across the nation and will be available for digital download late this summer.

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Becoming a Farm Girl: Part Three

Note: This is the final post in a three part series to celebrate National Agriculture Day that will show my (non-traditional) journey to Agriculture. My hope with this story is to shed light on the many different faces of a “farmer” and how those who are not born into family farms can still learn, celebrate, find careers and purpose in this important industry.

Becoming a Farm Girl: Part One
Becoming a Farm Girl: Part Two

Adam and I had a blast together at the fraternity dance and continued to see each other.

It didn’t take me long to see that he was completely different from all of the other guys I had ever dated.

And, it wasn’t just because he drove a big, diesel truck you could hear coming down the road causing all the girls in my sorority to yell “Bye Claire!” before he would pick me up for a date.

He was a good friend. He made me a priority. He was motivated and intelligent. He was a leader on campus.

And, he had a job lined up after graduation… in Indianapolis.

At another one Adam's fraternity's formals as we approached graduation.

At another one Adam’s fraternity’s formals as we approached graduation.

The more I learned about him, the more I loved and I began to redefine my job search. By Valentine’s Day, I had a job offer of my own in Indianapolis.

Flash forward three years, Adam had returned to his small hometown to work with his dad at their family agriculture construction business and, after our May 2011 wedding, I joined him.

May 21, 2011.

May 21, 2011.

A hospitality job was hard to come by in the small town, so when a local school reached out because they were looking for a food and nutrition director, I took the job.

It was a great school, but it was by no means my “dream” job. I often felt confined by the rules and regulations in the world of school lunch and my culinary creativity was pretty stifled within the medium of chicken nuggets.

I spent a lot of time trying to make my day to day more stimulating.

After getting to know some of the students, I wanted to do more to make students feel engaged and excited about lunch. I began to look around at the many school lunch websites and blogs to see what other directors across the nation were doing to enhance their school lunch programs. One program that really caught my eye was Farm to School.

Farm to School is a program that connects school lunch programs to local farmers and provides education opportunities, such as school gardens and field trips. Programs were strong in states like California and Texas.

I loved the idea. After all that I had learned about farming and where food comes from in my college years and summer internship, I thought it was a great thing to teach kids, especially those who grew up like me. I wanted to teach them there is no stereotypical “farmer” and they can grow food too, be it in their own backyard or as a potential career down the road.

In late 2012 I reached out to the leaders to see what the program was doing in the state of Indiana. I learned that the program was in its early stages of getting off the ground. I asked if I could get involved and was met with an eager “yes.”

I was actually the first food service director involved in the Indiana group full of local growers, Extension officers, leaders in the Nutrition Services of the Department of Education and more. Because of this, I was asked to speak on a panel at the 2013 Horticulture Congress in Indianapolis to introduce local growers to the program and gauge interest.

I even made the cover of AgriNews... which really excited Adam!

I even made the cover of AgriNews… which really excited Adam!

The impact this day had on me was amazing. I think it may be the first time in my life that I truly felt inspired.

The panel went great, but what was so exhilarating to me was meeting all the people who grew food and were creating unique products with their food. Their products were fabulous. They had neat stories and passion.

Ironically, the congress was held the same week Adam and I had moved into our new home, set on a large piece of land. When I got home that evening, I told Adam about my great day. I told him that I wanted to learn to grow our own food and that we had to plant a garden.

It didn’t take much convincing: Adam, recalling his childhood dreams of being a farmer, was on board.

In order to get our first garden into the ground last summer we hit the library, talked to some family and friends, and watched a lot of YouTube videos. The amount of information we found was pretty amazing.

But, as the garden grew, we wanted to learn more. We wanted to do more in taking charge of growing food, not just for ourselves, but maybe even for others.

I built relationships with extension office leaders and learned about some free work shops they were hosting to educate the community. In the fall of 2013, I went to a hands-on workshop about composting and an info session about community gardens.

Also, thanks to some of those relationships and my eagerness, I was able to attend a weeklong produce safety training hosted by the USDA. There I learned so much. We received information about how produce is inspected, what certifications, insurance, and handling practices are needed at a farm in order to supply food for sale, how to create urban and community gardens and more.

During the training I also went to an actual farm that is a resource for inner city schools in Baltimore. It introduces students to gardens, food that they might not see at home, raising goats and chickens and teaches them culinary skills. Two young men I met and spoke with were preparing to be the first in their families to graduate high school and hoping to serve in the military… as chefs!

I still have a lot to learn, but these experiences are tools that could potentially help Adam and I create a new business venture down the road. Maybe we will help contribute to a CSA, a Farm to School program, or have a stand at a Farmer’s Market. I have since moved on from K-12 food service and in my new role I work closely with chefs. Maybe we create a company that supplies fresh, local produce directly to chefs. But, then again, maybe I go back to that younger demographic and help them learn how to grow their own food. Who knows!?

And speaking of Adam, he is also learning a lot and making moves to help feed others. He made a connection with a longtime farmer who is now serving as his mentor. Last fall, Adam asked if he could donate his time helping with the harvest. He was looking to learn more about the challenges and realities his clients face. He continued to ask questions and learn as much as he could about working a field of corn.

A Shot Adam took farming last fall.

A Shot Adam took farming last fall.

Thanks to his persistence and excitement, he will be going 50-50 with this farmer on forty acres of land this year. He is beyond excited to get into the field to continue to learn, to play a small part feeding the world, and to fulfill his childhood dream of being a farmer when he grew up.

Adam even asked the farmer, “Why are you letting me farm with you?”

His response “I’ve never met someone who shows so much passion and excitement for farming. It’s hard to find someone willing to work for free just to be involved.”

I know that we wouldn’t have had these opportunities and knowledge if we had not spoken up.

I am a firm believer that what you get out of life, be it opportunities or information, that you can’t work your butt off for, is what you have the guts to ask for.

I would not know what I know about growing food or how others grow food if I had not asked questions and asked to get involved.

I am the girl asking questions at the market. I want to know.

In order to create a successful garden, I reached out to old pros and asked questions.

Adam did the same.

It’s really hard to get into actual farming if you are not born into it.

He was interested. He wanted to learn. So, he asked.

If you want to know about how the produce you see at your farmers market is grown, ask the farmer.

If the farmer at the edge of town raises cattle and you want to know how he treats his cows or who he sells the beef to, ask. You might be surprised. A lot of family farmers sell to corporations like Tyson.

(However, another fun question to ask is if you can buy directly from him. There is nothing better than making a relationship where you can support someone in your local community and get fresh meat for your family.)

A farmer will likely be more than happy to answer any question and help give you a better understanding of their world. They are proud of what they do and they want to clear up any misconceptions that, unfortunately, strike the agriculture industry every day.

If you want to know how to start a garden, do what I did. Reach out to your extension offices, ask questions at the local nursery, or you could even ask me.

I am by no means an expert, but I do have a year of experience under my belt and if I don’t know the answer, at this point, I probably know someone who does.

And, like the farmers, I am proud of what I have learned and accomplished. Not to mention, nothing makes me happier to know that someone is inspired by this blog and wants to start a garden.

… Isn’t it funny?

If you had told me ten years ago that this would be my life and this is what makes me feel like I have a purpose, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Chickens? Dirt? Muck Boots? Puhleease.

I might have even laughed.

But, I have picked up a bit of wisdom since sixteen. And, yes, I still have a lot to learn about life, but one thing I know to be sure is that life takes us all down many different roads.

And if there is anything on those roads that makes you truly fulfilled and alive, you should listen to it.

As a young adult, I honestly have struggled trying to determine what to be when I grow up. I didn’t know what really drove me or what I was passionate about.

Until now.

I love the evenings when I am in the garden with Adam enjoying the sunset and a glass of wine while the hens are roaming nearby.

I can’t help but smile when I have a fabulous conversation with a farmer at the market about the food they grew.

I feel like I have a purpose when a friend texts me saying she wants to grow cilantro, but doesn’t know where to begin.

My heart is so happy when I see Adam thrilled about making his childhood farming dreams come true.

And, never in my life do I feel more completely “Claire” than when I am in my kitchen preparing an amazing meal with fresh ingredients straight from my backyard.

Fresh ingredients that I planted, tended to, and picked with my own hands.

… So, maybe I am a Farm Girl after all.

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Becoming a Farm Girl: Part Two

Note: This is the second of a three part series to celebrate National Agriculture Day that will show my (non-traditional) journey to Agriculture. My hope with this story is to shed light on the many different faces of a “farmer” and how those who are not born into family farms can still learn, celebrate, find careers and purpose in this important industry.

Just days after my eighteenth birthday, I headed to college at Purdue University.

First football game!  Showing off our student tickets with my roommate, Sarah in our dorm.

First football game! Showing off our student tickets with my roommate, Sarah. Sarah was so nice and was also a member of Purdue’s Triathlon team!

Like many undergrads, my hometown bubble burst the instant I got to campus. (As it should.)

There were a few girls I made connections with on my dorm floor. But, for the most part they were pretty different. (… Think poor hygiene, curious sexual orientations, painfully shy, etc.)

I remember the huge sense of relief that came over me when I arrived at the orientation for sorority recruitment. Finally, girls that were friendly, passionate, motivated, and, not to mention, looked like they could be great shopping buddies.

Finally girls that made me feel more like me.

Throughout recruitment we were put in groups of about twenty girls and spent a lot of time in alphabetical order. I was sandwiched between a tall, beautiful girl named Amy and a tiny, peppy blonde named Kelsey.

Kelsey’s dorm was one building over from mine. She was a cheerleader and Homecoming Queen in high school. Amy and I quickly made the connection that our mom’s were in the same Purdue sorority only a few years apart.

Kelsey and Amy also found a lot of common ground. They were both from small towns in Indiana. Kelsey’s family had horses. Amy’s raised pigs. I listened as they talked about funny memories from the summer’s fairs where both of them participated in 4H competitions.

During their conversation, I was reminded of an English class as a sophomore in high school:

We were learning to write resumes and the textbook shared a few samples. One of the samples listed 4H as an activity. Our poor teacher had to explain the organization to the class full of “yuppie” teenagers.

I remember the sense of confusion and even giggles that day.

Sewing, farm animals, and pageants?

We all were certain this was the oldest textbook on the planet. 4H had to be something that was only around when our parents were kids.

Please. No one does anything like that now.

Back in the recruitment line, I looked at my new “friends” and thought “Huh… So 4H really is a thing…?”

I also remember thinking, “These girls are really nice and kind of remind me of my friends at home, but wow… we grew up so differently. Could we really be friends?”

At the end of the week the three of us wound up in the same sorority.

(And, to this day, they are great friends of mine.)

Bid Night 2005.  New members were in blue.  Kelsey is on the far left.  Amy is in the center right.  Yours truly has the big, blingy, white sunglasses on her head.

Bid Night 2005. New members were in blue. Kelsey is on the far left. Amy is in the center right. Yours truly has the big, blingy, white sunglasses on her head.

My first year of college wore on and I continued to meet new people and to learn new things about myself, the world, and others.

And it was in that first year, I learned that farming is far from backwards.

Many of the students at Purdue had parents who raised animals, were farmers, or had careers somehow related to the agriculture industry. And, many of these students were following in their footsteps.

In fact, one in ten students at Purdue were a part of the College of Agriculture.

Before college, I was led to believe that agriculture and farming was “old fashioned” and that it was not viable career. But, the young people in the College of Agriculture knew that the industry was diverse, growing and innovative. These future agriculture leaders were studying at Purdue because the future of the industry demanded higher education.

They knew that there were jobs in agriculture that would put the over thirty different majors within the College of Agriculture, including Agriculture Communications, Agribusiness Sales and Marketing, Food Science and Engineering, to use.

The industry of producing, processing, and selling food actually makes up 15 percent of the American work force.

However, it also wasn’t too out of the ordinary for the students to be preparing to take over their parent’s roles on the family farm. Of the over two million farms that cover the nation, 97% of them are family owned and operated.

They knew that they were learning skills in the College of Agriculture that would help them feed not only America, but the world, as nearly a quarter of the raw US farm products are exported. These students were motivated and beyond intelligent.

But, they didn’t carry these facts around with them every day. At school, they were just fellow Boilermakers.

And at the time, I didn’t realize how much my selected course of study relied on the Ag Students.

I chose to study Hospitality Management thanks to a passion for putting on events. (…Thanks, High School 5K!) However, the summer before my junior year I studied abroad in Switzerland and was bit by the culinary bug.

Prepping an Apple Tart at a culinary class in a Swiss kitchen.

Prepping an Apple Tart at a culinary class in a Swiss kitchen in 2007.

This led me to Los Angeles for an internship the summer before my senior year. The internship was with a food service company that was contracted at a large corporation to handle the catering and cafeteria service.

As a Midwestern girl, I was beyond stoked for a summer in LA. I packed my bags and headed west with visions of hanging with surfers, spotting stars everywhere and becoming Lauren Conrad’s next BFF on The Hills.

I never in a million years would have imagined the group of people that I ended up spending a lot of time with in Southern California… Farmers.

In addition to the day to day tasks in regards to catering events and running a large cafeteria, I was asked to help with a handful of projects. One particular project was to create an onsite, bi-weekly Farmers Market.

The corporation valued work life balance and to support that my boss decided to bring the Farmer’s Market to work. The employees would have the opportunity to shop on their lunch hour versus giving up time at home with their families on the weekend.

I worked through our produce supplier to connect with growers located close to LA County. As I met with them to learn about their produce, I was so surprised to see the many different faces of farmers. Some were young, some old. Some men, some women. There were many different backgrounds, from Hispanic to Australian to American through and through.

But, they all had one common thread: They were so proud of the food they produced. And, they couldn’t wait to share it!

My conversations with these farmers left me energized and eager to do their products justice as I tried to sell them at the pseudo Farmer’s Market.

But, I didn’t have to try too hard. It was 2008 and SoCal was on the forefront of the organic, local, green, Farm to Fork movement. The farm fresh produce sold itself.

The market was a huge success. We sold out of everything each week. I loved seeing the corporation’s employees so thrilled to have healthy options to take home to their children instead of swinging by In-and-Out after work. I was also intrigued with how interested some of the people were in learning about the people who grew their food. And also, how they grew the food. They weren’t afraid to ask questions.

Lovin' Life in SoCal in 2008!

Lovin’ Life in SoCal in 2008!

That August I left LA to begin my final year at Purdue, convinced I would be back the following June to start my career.

But a couple months later, my plans began to change when a boy, named Adam, asked me to his fraternity’s dance.

… His Agriculture fraternity’s dance.

Becoming a Farm Girl: Part One

Note: This is the first of a three part series to celebrate National Agriculture Day that will show my (non-traditional) journey to Agriculture. My hope with this story is to shed light on the many different faces of a “farmer” and how those who are not born into family farms can still learn, celebrate, find careers and purpose in this important industry.

At the beginning of 2014, a good friend and sorority sister encouraged me to join a blogging group supported by her employer, Indiana’s Soybean Alliance. The group is a network of women bloggers with agriculture backgrounds. The group holds monthly lunch meetings that include blogging speakers or workshops.

It sounded like a great opportunity so I eagerly began attending meetings. And just a few months in, I have already learned so much.

I am getting better with layout design (Aren’t the bigger pictures nice?), social media (“Like” Bloom on Facebook, if you haven’t already!), and I have really loved networking with woman who have been doing this for years and have found success in the blogging world.

Not to mention, they have been a lot of fun to get to know.

But, just like any time I join new group, especially a group of women that have known each other for years, I can’t help but wonder where or if I fit in.

A big element that adds even more pressure to trying to fit in is that all of these women grew up on farms, have careers in the agriculture industry and/or are farm wives. The group is even nicknamed the “Farm Girls” within the Indiana Women Blogger’s Network.

The issue?

Well… I am not really a “Farm Girl.”

At least, I never thought I was.

I know I live in a small agriculture based town on eighty acres that are farmed. And, my husband has a major passion and career in the agriculture industry. And, that I have five little hens.

But, it wasn’t always this way.

My insecurity about fitting in became even more prevalent a couple days ago when I was reading a beautiful “Farm Girl” blog. The blog is full of great stories and a good look into her love of agriculture. On a particular post the Farm Girl wrote as she regaled about her childhood on the farm, “And who doesn’t have memories of playing through the beans?”

Umm… Me?

In fact, about five years ago, I asked my then boyfriend as we drove on country roads through northern Indiana what “that other plant” was.

They were beans.

So, no. I don’t have any memories of running through beans.

But, I do remember running through large sprinklers on summer evenings as the Country Club watered the golf course.

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And, just like the Farm Girl, I also have fond memories of childhood and love where I grew up.

Where I grew up, there were cement bike paths connecting every neighborhood, and tunnels that ran under main roads so children wouldn’t have to cross the street.

We would race each other around the cul-de-sac and ring our neighbor’s doors to see if they could come play “Ghost in the Grave Yard” or “Hide and Go Seek” after dinner on summer nights.

The town was also always hosting some major event.

It would come to life after winter for a St. Patrick’s Day parade, where my Dad starred as St. Patrick a handful of years.

My dad, the Irish man, in his element as St. Patrick with me and my brother.  Cerca 2000

My dad, the Irish man, in his element as St. Patrick with me and my brother. Cerca 2000

There was a PGA golf tournament each spring bringing in all the big players. I had friends who got on ESPN during the tournament and others that babysat the pro’s children at an “undisclosed location.” I often worked at the pro shop the week of the tournament and admired the golfer’s wives diamonds and black AMEX cards.

The 4th of July celebration included concerts from Boys to Men, Kool and Gang and more. And, fireworks were beyond spectacular.

Dublin's 4th of July Celebration is half the reason why I love the Holiday so much.  Getting into the Patriotic spirit in 2006.

Dublin’s 4th of July Celebration is half the reason why I love the Holiday so much. Getting into the Patriotic spirit in 2006.

In early high school I raged to Flogging Molly before they made it big at one of the worlds largest Irish Festivals that is held every August.

I still love where I grew up.

The town was and still is beautiful. So was my home.

My old backyard.

My old backyard.

I always felt safe and that could be because the town has been ranked one of the safest in the nation.

It is also ranked as one of the most intelligent towns in the country.

I do not know anyone from my high school that did not go onto college. In fact, my old high school has topped High School rankings for years.

In school, we were challenged. We were told we could be whatever we wanted to be and were given over three hundred courses to choose from to figure that out.

We had award winning yearbooks and news magazines. Our morning announcements were live from a studio that looked almost like any other professional news room. The school’s musicians were composing musicals. The students who were strong in math and science were taking leaps to prepare them for medical school. Honors foreign language classes traveled abroad to experience cultures first hand.

At the Don Quixote statue in Madrid, Spain in 2004.  I am in the center in the red tank top.

At the Don Quixote statue in Madrid, Spain in 2004. I am in the center in the red tank top.

Even through the school’s extracurricular activities we were doing extraordinary things. There was always some cause to support, be it a huge dodge ball tournament for the victims of a hurricane or a formal event for the whole city to raise awareness about a crippling disease. As a senior, I was president of an organization that raised over $26,000 for Juvenile Glaucoma through speaking (At seventeen years old…!) to major local business leaders to encourage donations for a community wide 5K.

Awarding the winner of the 5K in 2005.

Awarding the winner of the 5K in 2005.

We were given opportunities and we were encouraged to change the world.

But, despite our 4.0 GPA’s, near perfect SATs or scholarships to the colleges of our choice, if you had asked me, or any of my friends, where our food comes from, we would have likely said, “the grocery store.”

In our childhood years, we had a huge disconnect to where and how food gets to our table.

Of those three hundred class options listed in the course catalog, not one of them was related to agriculture.

Or, Horticulture.

Heck, the only thing even related to food was a class called “Global Gourmet.” (Likely placed the course catalog knowing that one day these young people are going to be in a dinner meeting and probably shouldn’t be ordering chicken tenders…)

Where I grew up, farming and agriculture were not considered to be a career.

And, why would it?

Where I grew up, no one farmed.

I have looked back at my family tree trying to find any connection to agriculture and as far as five generations back I learned I come from a long line of industrialists: Car dealership owners, patent officers, military leaders, engineers, and marketers.

And, it wasn’t just my family. My friend’s parents were teachers, computer programmers, development managers, architects, government representatives and more.

There were no “Farmers.”

No “Farm Wives.”

No “Farm Boys” and no “Farm Girls.”

Where I grew up, “Farmer’s Daughters” were only in Beach Boys songs.

The only hint of agriculture in my town was a field of corn.

A field of cement corn.

Not my image.  Credit to livbit.com.

Not my image. Credit to livbit.com.

Literally illustrating, “Agriculture is what we were. Progress, industry, cement: that is what we are.”

Where I grew up, farming was backwards.