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View, Perspective, Meetings & Travel

March 28, 2013

We stay pretty close to the place here. As a member of the board of directors at the AgChat Foundation, there are occasional trips for meetings, conferences or other events. In that sense, apologies to regular readers who probably thought I was attacked in the turkey pen or pinned under a rabbit hutch!

These trips aren’t just business…it’s also a chance to meet up with friends we don’t always see. This is a group that varies from an organic dairy to a grass seed farmer to a popcorn farmer to what many would see as a larger scale farmer – all with a common ground in promoting agriculture, and empowering farmers to reach out to those who “just eat” who have questions about how their food is produced.

In this we also gain from each other – learning how grass seed is produced, dealing with irrigation and drought from not having irrigation, raising rabbits, the differences and similarities between our operations. As a firm supporter of food choices, I don’t condemn large operations, as it’s possible that Jeff’s family run farm corn (or farmers like him) contributes to feed from my chickens.

As our group filtered out to head for home, four of us headed to the airport at the same time, with flights within an hour or so. It was a chance to check a couple of chats, tend to some online stuff, work on a project that I hope will interest those who “just eat”! (Stay tuned!)

After Emily & Marie caught their flight to Minnesota, Darin and I were talking about misconceptions, social media, agriculture, reaching those folks who “just eat” that define and shape what we all do. I pulled up my downloaded copy of “Think Like a Rockstar” to make use of some air time learning more ways to improve what we do.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is that period of time at takeoff and before landing where all battery operated things must be off, and as I looked out the window at 10,000 feet, and later higher up, I thought about parallels in what I was seeing and things we’d discussed.

I looked down at what appeared to be some large barns. Now they could be storage barns of some sort, but likely were clusters of hog or poultry barns. Visible from that height it struck me that our little place wouldn’t even be seen. We don’t have the big barns, and it’d take eagle eyes to see chickens on the ground at that height! Even the pen they’re in would be tough to see.

Now to be fair, those big barns likely were family run operations, and produced the volume of meats demanded by the marketplace. It’s our pork chops or fast food chicken meals. Nothing wrong with that for those who choose that!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe just choose a different way, that works better for us. With supplying food choices, there’s nothing wrong with that either! Like the airplane view, one must be closer to us, actually talk to us, to find our eggs or meats. Those big barns – well you can find what they produce at a grocery store or restaurant, but you likely can’t talk to the particular farmer that grew it. That’s just reality.

And it brings me back to why I got involved with social media and AgChat Foundation to begin with. We ARE a small speck in a very big world. Without doing something to reach out – this blog, our Facebook and Twitter activity, videos and such – we would not be able to get the word out to survive and expand as we want to.

Also, I can imagine what was in those structures but am, really, guessing. Many are, also, guessing about what is in their food, how it was produced and details about the farm. That may be entirely wrong of what, really, was on the ground at that time.

Perspective matters. Accuracy matters. The individual view matters. Sometimes we just have to go find what we want. We’re here when people see us!

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