Farm meeting season gets a bit frenzied. I have heard concerns this winter about weather, about markets and about big problems in production agriculture like herbicide-resistant weeds.
The facts are often challenging, sometimes daunting.
One of the most important things I’ve heard lately was a quote from John Phipps, an editor with U.S. Farm Report. Phipps, at the North Dakota Soy Expo, observed that one of his lessons from the 1980s was that it was his friends and cohorts in farming — people he could talk to, who knew what he was going through — that allowed him to survive through a farm credit crisis.
Phipps is right. It’s people that get you through.
Sometimes we starve our imaginations reaching for the wrong things. People need a certain amount of money, of course. (Farming is supposed to generate that.) But to be successful human beings we need to have the imagination and listening to the colleagues who have multi-generational goals in mind.
Along the same lines, Carl Peterson of Peterson Farms Seeds, hosting a Regional Weed Resistance Symposium, talked about how he became aware of the weed resistance challenges facing other parts of the country, and about his concern for tomorrow — what kind of weed protection farmers will have available to them in the future.
John and Carl deal with agricultural issues in the long term, but their messages sunk in with me. Farm meetings get the agricultural community together so we can get through.