Then they will tell you how much it hurts to feel so vulnerable to the markets and have so much of their life out of their control. How hard it is to know that you might not be able to pay all of your bills this month. How disappointing it is to have an excellent employee leave your business because you just can’t justify giving them a raise for their hard work, right now. How much it hurts to look at their families and know that they can’t give them everything that they need or want, and that as a family they will have to be the first to sacrifice so their employees and their families can be paid and fed first before their own. Disheartened over the next major machinery repair, which means unplanned bills that will have to be paid, because you can’t go on without that vital piece of equipment. Every cow, heifer, and calf was already a valuable living being, but their wellness is even more critical when prices are low because illness and death are expensive. Essential equipment upgrades have to be put on the back burner, until prices are better.
It’s ok to be honest about these feelings and challenges. I think consumer should hear the struggles of the American family farmer. A very wise friend pointed out that so often we let egos get in the way of what we’re really trying to feel and say, especially in agriculture. I think he is right, let the egos go. Be honest. When you get asked how things are going on your farm, let be real with each other and consumers. It’s not all roses and butterflies, in fact some days it gets down right ugly. If given the chance, though I’m certain all of us would keep on farming regardless, that’s what we’re made of: perseverance, passion and drive. Lets be honest with each other and consumers, it’s not all pastures and prairies; it's floods, droughts, storms, and most days rainbows.