Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be Inspired!

It has been quite a while since I have written and the excuses aren't that good so I won't bore you with them.

But I have been inspired by several great people who spoke this weekend at the Kansas Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers conference to continue this blogging journey.

My husband and I serve on the Kansas State committee for Young Farmers and Ranchers.  This weekend was our annual conference in Wichita, KS.  Young Farmers and Ranchers from all over the state of Kansas attend this event.  It is a weekend of Quiz Bowls, Discussion Meets, Key Note Speakers, Break-out Sessions, District Huddles, Vendors, Eating, Drinking and Being Merry!

The group we serve is anyone from the ages of 18-35. We try to make sure that the entire weekend will be interesting to anyone from collegiate age and up.  And let me tell you it is not always easy to make that happen but we sure do try.

The keynote speakers are the ones who really inspired me this weekend.  Our first speaker was Chris Chinn.  She is from Missouri and a hog farmer.  She told us the story of her farm and some of the hardships they have had to over come.  The most important message that hit my ears was when she told us that it is important for us to stand up for what we do.  It is our job to educate the consumers and our neighbors.  We can't assume that every one knows we are working hard to create safe food for everyone.  They also may not know that we won't do things that are unsafe for the environment.  We are stewards of the land and are working hard to make sure that we take care of it, and those around us.

Glen Cope was another speaker that we had.  He also was from Missouri.  He is the Young Farmers and Ranchers Chair for the American Farm Bureau Association.  He talked about how we are in farming and it is not for the money.  He talked about how we don't need government to tell us how to run our farms but we need to tell the government what we need from them.  It is our job once again to educate people but this time it is the ones in politics that need to hear us.

A topic of discussion this weekend was how government wants to regulate how old you can be to work on a farm.  Now I don't know about you but if government decides to do this, the farming and ranching community is in big trouble.  Who is the government to say that we can't teach our children about farming at an early age.  Growing up on a farm I know that, that is where I learned my work ethic.  The government also states that it is dangerous for kids to be helping out on the farm.  Do you really think that the farmers and ranchers who are taking their kids to work with them are really going to put them in harms way?  I don't believe that for one second.  Those parents are watching out for their kids every minute just like they do for their crops and animals.  If you feel as strongly about this topic as I do, I suggest you write your senators and tell them how you feel about this.  The more the merrier I say!

And last but not least we had the 2011 Miss America Teresa Scanlan.  I can be honest and say that I was skeptical of what she might bring to the table but after listening to her speak, I know that we have a good advocate for agriculture.  She talked about the importance of us guiding legislation in the right direction, and telling our story.  We need to help take silly rules or laws (which might have really been intended to help) and change them to rules or laws that will really help us.

So now I begin again on my own journey to reach out to others and let them know what I am doing on the farm.  I hope people find it interesting, or informative.  I hope people know that I and my husband are passionate about the work we do.  I want consumers to know that I am a consumer to and I would never make anything for them or myself unsafe to consume.

And now folks I hope you can be inspired!