Monday, May 17, 2010

Good Neighboring

Brush up on Neighbor-relations Skills
Pork news source Friday, May 14, 2010

Warmer spring and summer weather means increased farm activities and non-farm families spending more time outside where farm odors are present — a recipe for potential conflict, says Nicole Olynk, Purdue University agricultural economist.

Citizen complaints against farmers most often stem from odors, but many times relate to surface or ground water, or a combination of the three. And while traditionally most complaints are related to animal agriculture, crop farmers are not exempt.

"Crop farms are not immune to negative perceptions of cropping practices," Olynk warns. "Recent times have seen debates surrounding livestock production practices and related animal welfare and humane treatment concerns. But also in the forefront of citizens' minds are environmental impacts of agricultural practices."

One way farmers can reduce friction is being mindful of the ways nonfarm neighbors perceive on-farm practices. Small acts of neighborly kindness such as helping neighbors after snowstorms or inviting them to visit the farm may build goodwill. Slight modifications to farming practices can also help ease tension. Read More

Here’s a good reminder that working with our non-farming neighbors and keeping good lines of communication open can reduce the odds of having problems with them. Many of these people don’t understand how food is grown, so not only do these conversations help reduce potential conflicts but it also gives us a chance to teach more people about agriculture.

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