This is something I wrote and shared on my personal page a couple years ago. You would never guess this makeup artist grew up on a farm, and for the most part I don't bother to bring it up. I would have never imagined our family's heritage could ever become so political. We're used to keeping our heads down and just keep on truckin', hoping just maybe, people will start to remember farming was once the backbone of this country. I strongly believe growing up on a farm and watching the day to day struggle has molded me into the business owner I am today. I wouldn't have it any other way!
I have a confession to make. I was not always proud to be a farmer’s daughter.
By nature an introvert, I would do (and for the most part still do) anything to avoid conflict. When I was younger, I had a preoccupation with wanting to be accepted and liked, as many can probably relate to. Through my teen years, I almost never mentioned anything about living on a farm. I kept that part of myself tucked away for those who seemed trustworthy or who they themselves were "farm kids". But why?
There has always been a stigma surrounding farmers. On the positive side (which is diminishing as we speak) these are hard working, salt of the earth, just plain good people. I do get that reaction sometimes. However, there are also those who have gained an impression of farmers as ignorant, dirty, and careless. A group of people who have chosen their vocation because they lack the skills or ambition to do something better. Intensified lately, although not new, is the thought that farmers are abusive of their animals and the environment. These are not exactly popular things to be associated with, so classically avoiding conflict and harsh judgments, I did my best not to be labeled a "farmer".
Through working in the family cheese shop, the opportunity arose for my Aunt and I to start a blog. She would develop and share recipes and I would share childhood memories and farm stories. I have fantastic memories of growing up on our farm, there is nothing better than having acres of land to explore and haymows to build forts in. Once I got through my first few blogs I started running out of things to talk about. This was when I realized how little I really knew about what my dad did every single day. So I started asking questions. What is a cow's life really like? What are they fed? Do we use antibiotics? What about our farmland? (If you are interested, I wrote blogs on each of those topics ) Looking back, I can't believe how little I knew simply because I had no interest in knowing. I was content, trusting my father would never do anything to harm his animals, but I never asked how.
I started to tag along with my Dad as he led new people around the farm. Honest to goodness, his face lights up when he starts talking about taking care of his cows. How everything he does is specifically designed to make the cows as happy as possible. From the barns, to their diets, to their impeccable care as little calves to full grown milkers. This is his passion. This man would talk about farming all day if he could.
It breaks my heart to hear of situations where animals are being mistreated. We've all seen those videos filling our news feeds. Videos villainizing farmers and holding up rare circumstances as a representation of the farming community as a whole. What is even more painful is the general public believing all farms are like these bad eggs, when in fact we are also upset by these same situations. The majority of farmers take great joy in giving their animals good lives. There is also the idea that farmers abuse the land, taking as much as they can without care to the environmental cost. This is also untrue. On our farm, we are regularly trying to go above and beyond what we are required to do, for the sake of our land. The amount of passion and care these families spend investing into their farms is overlooked because, just like myself, people don't take the time to ask a farmer, instead, choosing to base their opinions on the controversial articles popping up online.
These farmers are intelligent business men who understand the more they invest into their land and herds, the better chance they have to pass something on to their children. They are constantly thinking of new ways to improve the overall quality of these farms, utilizing science and technology like never before to ensure nothing is missed. Farming is often generational, the family business. If the farm is going stay in the family, why would they abuse their resources?
I have always been a "daddy's girl" but it's time to become a farmer's daughter. Seeing the opposition to farming becoming more and more brash and ugly has given me no choice but to open my eyes and do my research. I could not be more proud of my father and the work my family does. Respect for this man is natural, but has increased exponentially since I decided to ask the farmer. I might not know everything there is to know about farming, but I will gladly chat with anyone who is curious. If I can't fully answer your questions, I know someone who can! Let's talk
Thank you to Meraki Photography NW for the beautiful photos! And to these gorgeous sisters (who also have a farming background!) for modeling for us!