I grew up on a small family owned and operated dairy farm in the “Thumb” of Michigan. We milk around 80 cows, and have about 200 head total. Some of my fondest memories include me trying to “help” my parents and grandparents work when I was little, at that age when all I really was accomplishing was a lot of getting in the way. Nevertheless, they would always look at me, give me a high-five, and say of course I’d been a big help! Then, I would smile my biggest smile and feel extra important as we’d set off to begin another task – whether it be feeding calves or bedding pens, baling hay or combining corn, making lunch or cleaning the house.
Growing up on a farm was never what I would call easy. The work is stressful and demanding, both physically and mentally. It seems like I can hardly remember a time that we weren’t running late to one thing or another, and then leaving early – whether it was church, piano lessons, a school event, or even family celebrations for Christmas or Thanksgiving. The time and effort my family has put into the farm really is worth noting, which, I guess, brings me to the reason I’ve started this blog.
I am currently a student at Michigan State University, double majoring in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and Journalism. As some of you may or may not know, MSU is commonly known as an agricultural college. As you can tell from my major, my hope is not to become a farmer. However, I do believe that the daily efforts of farmers across the country and around the world are very much underappreciated. More than once, I have encountered several unpleasant (and, drastically misinformed) critics of the agricultural system. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a firm supporter of the First Amendment, which is what allows me to even have this blog. Everyone is most definitely entitled to their own opinion and their right to voice it – which is exactly why I’m writing this. I can no longer sit tight and silently allow the negative conceptions of farmers continue to permeate the minds of America’s citizens. I am going to use this blog as a journal to discuss my adjustment to city life as a farm girl, hoping to raise awareness about the disappointing lack of agricultural awareness in the United States.
With the holidays just around the corner, please just take a moment to appreciate the hard work farmers put in and the sacrifices they make every day to feed the world – because without them, none of us would be here. The work they do every day (what most of us take for granted all too often) literally makes life itself possible. The clothes on your back, the food on your table, all come from the efforts of farmers. Do not bite the hand that feeds you – thank a farmer.