What is the first thing you imagine when you think of a farmer?
Over the years, I have heard plenty of interesting answers.
"A farmer stinks."
"A farmer dresses in overalls holding a pitchfork chomping on straw."
"Farmers take up the road and slow me down."
"Farmers must be wealthy because my grocery bill is outrageous."
"Farmers aren't smart people."
FARMER [fahr-mer] Noun: a person who farms; a person who operates a farm or cultivates land
Let's address those answers.
"A farmer stinks." Okay, first of all, that isn't polite. But I will agree animal farms do stink at times. Simple fact. Animals are mammals, and they poop, just like you do. The only difference is it doesn't get flushed into a sewer system. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), CNMP (Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans), and MMP (Manure Management Planner) control how the farmer disposes of animal waste. The animal's manure stinks, not the farmer. They tend to smell like the barn when working with their livestock, but I promise they shower and wash their clothes.
"A farmer dresses in overalls holding a pitchfork chomping on straw." No. When holding a pitchfork, the farmer shovels manure or beds a barn. When chomping on straw, the farmer is caring for his animals. The straw he used stuck to his clothing, scratched up his arms, and he is spitting it from his mouth and nose! Or he is testing his wheat field, making sure it is ready to be combined.
"Farmers take up the road and slow me down." I wrote I AM THE FARMERS WIFE, which addresses this very statement. Please read it.
"Farmers must be wealthy because my grocery bill is outrageous." Believe it or not, farmers do not control how much you pay for products in the store. Farmers are paid based on the market price (Chicago Board of Trade). While the farmers' crop and livestock income has not risen, their on-farm input cost has sky-rocketed this year. Examples of inputs are land, labor, tractors, fuel, fertilizer, seed, and pesticides. If the farmer is fortunate enough, he will break even this year. Concussively, this means processors, transporters, and retailers are why your cost is high.
"Farmers aren't smart people." For some unimaginable reason, people believe this farce. I have found that the average person does not realize this is a complex business operated by intelligent people. On average, 38% of farmers have a college education with either a bachelor's or associate's degree. But most importantly, farmers have the most crucial skill; hands-on and years of experience passed down through generations.
Do you have questions about a farm? Ask a farmer directly but be prepared; he will most likely put you to work! If you do not know a farmer, find a blog like mine and ask them. Usually, farmers are willing to answer any questions you have as long as he isn't being attacked.
My biggest frustration is the misconceptions and judgments about farmers and their farming operations. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. If I cannot answer your question, I will direct you to someone that can!