Category Archives: Meet the Farmers

Farming Communities

I live in a farming community. On the rolling hills of what I call home, I can travel up to our back field and look across the valley. I can see hay and corn fields. I can see barns and silos in every direction.

The view from our top field, looking East.

I can’t even start listing off all of the active working farms within a 5 mile radius. Little farms like me with just one milk cow but a diversity of animals and big commercial dairies that have about 1500 milking head.

There are times, like during harvest season, that some of us will work together to get crops in but generally speaking we all keep to ourselves. That is, until someone needs help. Time and time again, I have seen this community pull together to help others. From one farm to another it may be helping get equipment pulled out of a muddy location or handling one or two milkings due to an injury.

We might have some new modern equipment but this area still reminds me of what communities were like when I was growing up. At harvest time, the families all pitch in together to get the job done. The wives cooked big meals to share with the crew. We worked from sun up til sun down. We all knew that no matter what the issue, help was just a phone call away.

I am proud to say I know that I have my neighbors support if I need it. Of course they have mine too, no matter what.

Things are just done differently out here in rural USA. We don’t expect to receive pay for the help we offer…mainly because someday you know you are going to need the assistance back. We don’t call tow trucks for break downs. We call the neighbor (usually a farmer). We plow out each others driveways when (and if) it snows. Sometimes the big dairy will come in with his big equipment when the snow is too deep.

That’s just how it seems to work around here. And I don’t think any of us would change that for the world.



I wrote yesterday about meeting our farmers and own farm. I had a reply comment back that I would like to take the time to answer and share with all.

I’m sorry, but maybe I don’t have the extra tolerance to keep my mouth / fingers shut when I click on a promoted Twitter link where McDonald’s is trying to tell me that their beef is produced with “love and passion”. In this day and age, it’s so disappointing that people don’t see how KILLING an ANIMAL, especially one that you LOVE, is so distant from humane it’s literally the opposite, it’s demented and psychotic. If people were starving, that’s one thing, but people aren’t starving, they’re lazy. And they WANT TO EAT MEAT. This is about WANT, not need. It’s about gluttony and desire, not necessity. You’d never kill a family member so don’t even pretend like you’re talking about the same thing. Who cares if the lighting is nice and the animals are stroked lovingly before they’re slaughtered. And don’t try to say, “They’re just animals” — WE’RE just animals. Top of the food chain my foot, we’re at the top of the intellectual thought process, so why are we still living like civilized neanderthals? Don’t patronize people who can’t even fathom the concept of seeing an animal be killed, and for what? So that a planet of stoned teenagers and lazy parents can have more of WHAT THEY WANT. It’s about DESIRE, not need. It’s about the world’s SELFISH WANTS, and that is why this planet is going up in flames. It’s vile to hear you say your animals are like members of your family but that you would kill them. You obviously treat your family differently than I treat mine. I’d never kill my cat or dog or mom and eat them or sell them to someone else to eat. We all have to make a living, but ya know what? There are plenty of jobs out there that don’t involve contributing to a global animal holocaust, which is exactly what this is. Sorry to rain on your parade, but there’s a little bit of truth for you. I apologize if you think this comment is disrespectful, but I think that murdering a living breathing human or animal, especially ON PURPOSE is not nice, and I don’t condone or tolerate it.
I guess you probably get “one like me” every now and then on the comment board – again, sorry if you think my comment was rude, but it’s a counterpoint to your points. I don’t expect to change your mind, I just don’t get it and I guess maybe I never will.

I don’t not condone killing of humans in any way shape or form.

Animals were designed for a purpose and put on this planet for just that. It may be for meat, but that still doesn’t give the farmer/rancher the right to be abusive. I am different than most because I do treat my animals (cows, chickens and turkeys) like most treat their dogs or cats. Maybe I am different about the actually methods of raising these animals because I do think that they have feelings and are intellectual. I do love them. Not like I love my human children but more like I love my dog. I also understand that they are here for a purpose. We raise 2-3 bull calves a year. Two of them are banded or castrated to make them into steers so they won’t mate with the cows and also so that it controls their hormones so when they get older, they are not as aggressive. It is safer for me as their handler when they out weigh me by about eight to nine hundred pounds. The chickens are here mainly to produce eggs. When they get to an age when they have just about lived to their life expectancy, they are butchered. Typically here on our farm that is at the age of 4-5.

Yes, I do kill some of them. Do I like it? Not really. It isn’t nice but it still needs to be done. Do I like to eat the meat? Yes, I do. I feel that they are part of a well rounded diet. Almost all of our diet here is provided right off our farm. We produce enough for three families all year round. Any waste is turned into compost to use back on the gardens again as a fertilizer to help the next year’s harvest grow. We keep the soil in good shape because we know we are going to need it again next year and do our best to not use commercial fertilizers.

Farm animals are all part of our whole process, not just meat. Even an organic farmer that buys an organic fertilizer to grow carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables still uses manure produced from animals somewhere.

You are right about people being lazy. It is a WANT society and unfortunately most people want things, not in moderation but in gluttony. There is another underlying issue out there too, it’s called waste. People have developed an issue with eating anything blemished. It doesn’t matter if it’s meat, fruits or vegetables.

I would just like to see people separate from the big commercial farms from one’s like me. There is a huge difference in how animals are raised and cared for. Be honest, if you did eat meat, who would you rather get it from? Somewhere you knew you could walk in and see how the animals are cared for or a big commercial that won’t let you on the property due to a biohazard security policy? Now you know why I started raising all of my own. I know what goes into everything that is produced here.

I think your comments have value and you are entitled to your opinions and methods of eating to sustain life. We just differ on our opinions. I can’t fix societies wants over night, neither can you. I just think that instead of bashing all producers because of a slaughter process, it would be beneficial to understand the reasons on why some do things different.

I don’t see society as ever becoming fully vegan. So, until then, how can two people who have different beliefs on what we should eat come together to hold a conversation about what would be a better way in the future? I think they both need to learn tolerance and understanding. Something else that seems to be lacking in today’s society.

I am always will to hold conversations and debates about what can be done and I have had my opinions changed many times over the years when I was shown the facts about various things. I try to approach everything with an open mind and being considerate to others without assuming things about them.

I really hope someday we can all live in the world together, with a reduce amount of food waste and without people starving in some areas of the world. I am doing my best to do what I think is best, based on my personal beliefs about how animals and the environment should be cared for while still listening to the knowledge base that is out there in the world.

I look forward to more conversations like these as time goes on.