Thursday, June 26, 2014

Factory Farm or Family Farm?

I'm sure by now you have heard the term factory farm thrown around. Quite frankly I've heard it more times than I ever care to have ever heard it! I am really curious as to who came up with this term, as it really has no definition, but it seems to have painted quite a picture in people's minds. Over mechanized farms that are inhuman, cold and run by Big Ag corporations. Honestly every farm I have ever been on comes no where close to falling under this category. Most all farms, 98% of farms in our country are solely family owned. The other 2%  also contain family farms that for tax purposes or other reasons have become incorporated. Farmers are a minority of our population though, those same numbers appear as farmers make up just 2% of the population feeding the other 98%.  

As a farmer I am SO confused by the term factory farm, I have yet to encounter one and being in agriculture all my life I've stepped foot on quite a few farms. What does factory farm mean to you? Does it paint a picture in your mind? Have you been to or know of a factory farm?  Does it mean so many acres or a certain number of animals? Because families are behind large and small farms, farms that produce crops and animals, farms of all kinds.

This week a campaign was launched to purchase drones to spy on these factory farms. An independent journalist is determined to get to the bottom of what is really happening on these farms. Farms like this:
Looking at this picture I see a farm, a small farm, one that probably isn't even active anymore for it's original purpose as the two barns on the bottom right have damage to their roofs. I see a farm much like many of the family farms I have been on before. A farm that is even smaller then our own farm.This farm could even be an organic farm. This is what they want to spy on? You can imagine my concern, they want to spy on farms just like mine and many of the people I know.
Our Farm looks much like the one above, are we a Factory Farm?
So why drones? I am wondering if this journalist (who I am not linking to for obvious reasons, let me know if you want more information) has even tried to visit these farms that he considers factory? I have yet to meet a farmer that would refuse a interview from a genuine person looking for truth. I think he could go to much less trouble and expense to find his truth is he just visited some farms. Speaking of expense, I am sickened by the amount of money he has raised in 5 days, his original goal was $30,000, he's surpassed that now at over $40,000 and is now wanting $90,000 for this little project. And People Are Donating!!!! I can think of a million more worthy causes than spying on my neighbors. How about we start with feeding them, that seems like a much better use of those funds!  

So I am done with the term Factory Farm.
Because when I look at agriculture in this country I see 
Family Farms! 

Do you have a family farm? Do you disagree with the term factory farm? I invite to join us in spreading the word. Create a photo collage and share with your social media outlets. Be sure to include the hashtags #myfamilyfarm and #factoryfarm when sharing! And then also be sure to link up below!    

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

{Wordless Wednesday}

Every once in a while we sneak in a little time away from the farm!

Beautiful Detroit Lake! Great little camping trip, despite the rain!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Little Perspective on my Dairy Lifestyle

Dairy farming, farming, ranching, most sectors of agriculture are a lifestyle all of their own instead of a job. There's no nine to five, TGIF's, leaving it all at the office for the weekend. We are married to our job, we live our job 365 days a year. There's usually no vacations or weekends off and away. It's in our blood, our bones our very souls.

It's a very special calling. One that is definitely not for everyone. It's hard, SO hard some days. You go to bed with it, you wake up with it, there's really no escape. When there's a bad day, when it all goes to heck and back you can't just leave it on the desk and come back to it tomorrow.
There's days when no matter how hard you work, how much effort, sweat, blood and tears you put into it, you still fail. When you try to battle the elements, guess mother natures moves and loose everything in the blink of an eye. There's times, seasons, years where you make no profit at all. When it can all hang in the balance of the market of a foreign country, the weather for growing hay two states away, and product prices that you have no control over. One tiny tip of that scale in the wrong direction and you can forget about breaking even or even being able to pay all the bills.
There's a driving force, a passion, a fire in our very core,(maybe just call it stupidity) that makes this lifestyle not a choice at all. It's something most of us could never imagine leaving. This lifestyle provides countless blessings, wealth that isn't measured in money and precious moments that make it all worth it.It's in seeing a beautiful sunrise, welcoming a newborn calf, celebrating a great cow's production, working beside our family and children that we face this reality daily.

We get up every single day and provide the very best care we are capable of for our Ladies, not because it's our job, but because it's our life!