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The voices of farmers should be heard
By Melissa Hart
As I watch the dust fly over the combine traversing the field outside my window, I think about the tons of technology driving down the dusty soybean rows and the sheer ingenuity and intelligence that went into creating it.
Those of us in the rural areas take for granted what we know. Farmers hop in a combine and watch the flashing of numbers and lights and know exactly what is going in the hopper behind them. They know when they can keep going, when they need to stop and the exact moisture in each kernel of corn. They know how many bushels they are getting per acre while the tires are rolling over the fields and how much room they have in their bins. While they are gathering in the crop, they are watching the markets and planning when they will sell, how much they will store, how many bushel they will need to feed and how long it will last.
Thoughts of disease protection, weather conditions, time of application, fertilizer options, cover crop benefits and if the neighbors are bothered by the lights in the field at midnight are all rolling through the minds of the American farmer. They are brainiacs and don’t even know it. They have as much technical knowledge as the average rocket scientist, but they don’t believe it. Their industry demands their minds be fertile and buoyant, learning new things all the time and yet if you told them how smart they were, they would drop their heads in humility and complain about the weather or the markets.
These crop-growing, feed-producing, land-conserving people are coaching Little League, serving on school boards and leading discussions about life in their spare time. They are conducting meetings, mentoring local FFA students and building pens for the fair pigs and market steers. They don’t ask for suggestions for Netflix binging for the weekend, they binge on the latest technological developments and classified ads.
These are the people whose voice should not be ignored. They aren’t loud. They aren’t squeaky but they are sharp, aware and not only deserve to be heard, but their thoughts should weigh heavy on the minds of those making decisions for a mass of people who value freedom and liberty.
Those who make up the world of agriculture are few in number, but that does not negate their value in a world that enjoys three squares a day. If you think you can tell them to sit down and comply, you will have better luck getting cotton to grow in Northern Michigan, in January.
Trust equals influence. Force creates resistance. This government is leaning too heavy on force and is way light on trust.