I had been working (mentally) on a post about respecting the choices of others, particularly with regard to farming practices. Between The Big Show (on WHO Radio, which I do listen to on occasion), green bloggers, a few farming/ranching blogs, and a lot of foodie blogs, I’m starting to get very, very tired of all of the bashing going on. Conventional farmers feel they have to put down natural/organic farmers to stay competitive. Natural/organic farmers feel they have to put down conventional farmers as part of their marketing to promote their own product. Foodies inevitably prefer the natural/green products and end up criticizing the conventional farmers.
The question I’ve wanted to ask many of these people, particularly the natural/green folks (of which I am one) has been “Have you ever met a conventional farmer and discussed farming with them?” Because, if not, then maybe you ought not be sitting there saying “conventional farmers this” and “conventional farmers that.” Conventional farmers are not evil incarnate. Most conventional farmers are doing the very best they can to produce a high quality product – and they succeed. They are hard working men and women trying to earn a living and support their families. They are, in fact, my two uncles, my grandfather before he died a few years ago, several of my cousins, my great-uncles, my second cousins, my aunt’s in-laws, and the entire community in which I spent my summers as a child.
As I was working on this, Shanen Ebersole over at Ebersole Cattle Co posted a very excellent article titled Rancher Respect.
Go read her post, and then I don’t have to finish mine!