Ask any ag lobbyist and he or she will tell you that if a legislator gets a letter or a phone call from a constituent, they pay close attention. Why? Partly because they don’t get as much feedback as you think. If one or more people come to them with similar concerns, they know many other people likely care about the issue, too.
At Indiana Prairie Farmer, we certainly don’t pretend to be legislators, but the same concept applies. We don’t always get feedback on what we write. We do our best to present content that will inform you, and perhaps give you an idea to help you make more money. But we don’t always know if we hit the mark.
Two kinds of feedback are very important. One is direct feedback from email or phone calls about something you think we should be writing about. The other is a response about an article you read.
Maybe you’re doing something you think is worthy of sharing. Or perhaps you see a key that no one is talking about. Send an email or give us a call, and let us know!
Dan Arnholt, Columbus, farms and has a background in grain storage. He believes some farmers may be caught off guard by grain going out of condition this year, primarily because the fall was so warm and not everyone may understand how to cool grain properly. He not only alerted us to the risk, but agreed to be a source. We’ve printed three stories already about this topic, all because Arnholt took time to let us know.
Nathan Hunt thinks he and some neighbors have a good thing going through a farm-to-fork project in Miami County. Hunt's neighbor turns canola into cooking oil. Hunt feeds the meal to swine on pasture. A local restaurant owner offers pulled pork from Hunt’s hogs, and features it as locally grown and pasture-raised. You’ll be seeing stories on this venture soon.
Sometimes you may think we didn’t listen because we don’t respond directly or write a story about your idea. Trust me — every idea is considered. If it has merit, sooner or later, it will likely trigger an idea that turns into a story.
A caller from Union County a couple of years ago was concerned about the county changing frost laws that would affect grain hauling. Last summer, a caller from Ripley County thought we should know that in spraying rights of way, the state highway department also took out a few rows of corn along a long stretch. It’s the same state highway department that seems to be blind to Canada thistles on similar rights of way.
No, we haven’t written directly about either topic yet, but they’re important. When the right time comes along, expect to see more on these topics.
Joe Park, director of the Indiana FFA Leadership Center, sent an alert to all ag teachers in Indiana telling them they should check out the story we did on the new ag space at Fairfield High School. It includes facilities for animal surgeries, and will lead to new curriculum. It’s good to know someone found Kraig Bowers' story interesting. Bowers is the ag instructor there.
Ken Simpson, Morristown, reacted to the Front Porch story about our daughter Kayla’s 11-year-old basset hound, Cowboy, passing away, leaving us with many memories. “It made me cry like a baby, because it reminded me of a great dog we lost a while back,” he wrote.
We didn’t intend to make you cry, Ken, but we did intend to make you think. Everything we think about doesn’t have to be about business. Thanks for letting us know that the article rekindled fond, if somewhat painful, memories.