Folks who aren't from the farm wonder if farmers share their values, but it's important for those who aren't on the farm to understand that farmers have similar values to theirs.
I've sat in hundreds of farm offices and at several kitchen tables, and most of the farm families that I've met with share values similar to my own family's. Farm families understand the importance of togetherness and faith and teaching kids the value of hard work. They want to leave a legacy, and make their land better – not only to be more productive but also to be in as good if not better condition for the next generation. All of these are good and honorable. Yet, many question whether the farm practices are good for us today and for future generations.
If you want to show others your values, share your story! Here are a few ideas:
1. Show how your family worked together on a project, such as building fence or working with livestock. There are so many families in America that don't cooperate at a team, but there are numerous examples of parents or grandparents working alongside a youngster teaching them valuable life lessons and skills on the farm. A family working together is a great image to share.
2. Share your challenges, but do it with positivity. There are things that just don't work out, and that is true for any occupation. But people love to hear about how one persevered and made something work. There are a lot of creative people in agriculture – farmers and ranchers solve several problems each and every day. Tell others about them.
3. How do you improve your land? Why do you maintain your waterways and terraces? Why do you take soil samples? There are numerous examples of things that farmers do to improve their land, so explain to someone why what you're doing is an improvement!
As people, we like to know that others share similar values to us. It helps us to identify easier with others and understand from where they are coming. At this time, when there are so many questions about food and the people who produce food, it's important to explain that we share similar value systems with others.