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It can be said that a farmer wears many hats.  But a farm woman wears many…

…shoes!

I work out.  I like skinny jeans.  I dress up when the occasion calls for it.  I love a comfy pair of flip flops and a cute pedicure.  One of my closet friends in suburban Phoenix would say the same.  Yet I’m pretty sure she does not own a pair of cowboy boots or muck boots!

The point is that as women and moms with different lifestyles, we still have shared viewpoints on a variety of subjects.  We want the best for our kids.  We seek fulfillment in relationships and careers.  We want to live in harmony with our neighbors.  We like shoes.  Of course, geographical location shapes some cultural differences, but it’s when we burst out of our comfort zone that we grow in knowledge and character.

I sometimes consider that among those not involved in agriculture, the idea of a farrmer would fit little more than a stereotype.  While my life as a mom in the country on a farm surely differs than that of my urban counterparts, I hope that we can learn from each other.  I hope that those who live in a city don’t judge me as ignorant and backwards.

I value getting off the farm occasionally.  While my list of travels in the past year isn’t terribly impressive, and some of the destinations were more of the tourist trap category, my family’s Labor Day trip to Chicago was easily my favorite.  I enjoy diverse crowds and all that the city has to offer.  I love the amazing restaurants, galleries and museums, concert and theater performances, major sporting events, and immense shopping choices.  The noise and action of a city are energizing to me, and after living near a small town, a few days of anonymity is appealing.  It’s even more important to Mr. Corn Farmer and me to expose our children to these experiences.

I cherish my farm heritage and appreciate the peace and quiet of country living.  Nothing relaxes me more than to know that the only thing between me and a spectacular sunset are some fields and the outline of my neighbor’s farm.  I daily appreciate my many wonderful friends in my small town community.  However, it’s a big world, and it’s never been my desire to be isolated.

Over a year ago, while watching an NFL playoff game in Las Vegas casino, my husband and I engaged in a conversation with a food conscientious urban couple. While I understand and respect their food choices, I wished we could have done more to correct their misunderstandings and explain more to them about how we raise grain and livestock in the Midwest.

Farmers and farming are becoming increasingly misunderstood.  If I wasn’t familiar with agriculture, I’m sure that I’d be wondering where my food comes from and whether or not I could trust the methods.  I personally like knowing where my food comes from and how it’s grown.  But, from what I see in the media, we also need to question the intentions behind those providing information about our food and those who raise it.  Too often, criticisms land unfairly on the shoulders of those of us working carefully and ethically in the field of agriculture.

When I travel and experience places so vastly different from my home, it’s my wish that everyone with an urban address would also take a genuine interest in what happens on family farms in rural America.  Walk a mile in my shoes, so to speak.  I think we’d all be better for the direct exchange of questions and answers.





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