As I write this, my wife and I are stranded in Chamberlain, SD after using the radiator of our Suburban to go pheasant hunting. I guess those things were made to hit a pheasant at 75 mph. Regardless of our bad luck, we had a great time in Morton, MN at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Conference and the Young Farmer and Rancher Conference.
As always, we shared how important it is for producers to educate young people about agriculture in our communities. The animal rights groups have been targeting our youth with their propaganda. And as you can imagine, the story they are telling is far from the truth.
After we finished speaking, I had a great conversation with Greg and Charity Vold. Their family milks cows near Glenwood, MN. Greg told me about some great things they are doing on their operations to tell the story of agriculture. For many years now, they have been inviting the preschool and kindergarten students out to tour their dairy. They get to see, smell and touch a lot of things while on the tour. He also explained that their dairy is a member of their local chamber of commerce. Here they get a chance to talk with local business leaders about agriculture.
We have been saying for quite some time that the things we do off our farms and ranches can be just as important as the day to day chores that keep our operations running. When I asked Greg his thoughts on that statement, he said that while these extra things they are doing require some extra time, the rewards have been priceless.
You see, they are now trying to expand their family operation. Because of their involvement in the community and their willingness to invite people to tour their dairy, they have many people in support of their proposed expansion.
These are great examples of how effective we can be as an industry if we are willing to go out and tell our story. You don’t have to travel across the country speaking to groups. You can accomplish a lot in your own communities by being open, honest and passionate about agriculture. Congratulations to the Vold family for being tremendous advocates for agriculture.