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Extending an invitation

Shelley E. Huguley swfp-shelley-huguley-preston-planter-family.jpg
My farmer sharing agriculture's story.
A simple "country boy" who communicates in simple ways about a complex life. Do you qualify? Most of us do.

This summer we had the privilege of hosting family we hadn't seen in years—neither of the families farm. One family lives in a state surrounded by fields of corn, sorghum, wheat and some cotton, while the other lives in the eastern U.S. in a metropolitan area.  

We gave both families a tour down Main Street, introducing one to the local BBQ flare and the other to homemade Mexican food sold at the Town Square. Their tours included a drive by the elementary, junior high and high school where our children attend. Each building sits one next to the other one block west of Main. "My husband went to school in that very building," I shared.  

We also gave each a tour of the farms. We drove them to our beloved Home Place and a couple of farms nearby that we rent. Our stops included a neighboring cotton field and some good-looking corn proudly standing at attention as if to say, "look at all the rain we've soaked up in the last two months." (Can you believe it's finally raining?! What a blessing!) 

My farmer has always told me he's not a teacher. I would argue otherwise. As I stood back and watched, and took pictures, of course, I listened to him explain everything from equipment to how each corn silk is attached to a kernel of corn in the husk. Our visitors were genuinely interested and amazed at how crops are produced and with the equipment we use, and even our technology.  

swfp-shelley-huguley-preston.jpg

My farmer has also always claimed to be a simple country boy and not a good communicator. Again, I beg to differ. My family from the east said several times, "He's such a good teacher. He makes it so easy to understand." I was so proud standing there watching him tell our story and not just the Huguley story but agriculture's story. Unrehearsed. No PowerPoint. Just weathered hands, a sweat-stained cap and a desire to give our city-dwelling family a glimpse of the farm.  

He fielded questions, not giving too much detail but enough to have a clearer picture of production agriculture. He even gave them a tractor ride, adults included.  

Their excitement, unfamiliarity and interest were a good reminder that there are still people out there who don't know and don't understand our world, our fight. It's not that they don't want to know. Maybe they just haven't had the opportunity.  

A simple countryman who communicates in simple ways about a complex life. Do you qualify? Most of us do. It doesn't matter your background, we in agriculture have a story to tell. It doesn't have to be fancy, prolific or lengthy. It just needs to be told. Extend the invitation. You never know who might want to hear! 

TAGS: Farm Life
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