Christian. BoyMom. Farmer's Wife. Marathon Runner. Ag Professional. Bourbon Lover.
Advocate for all things agriculture and rural.
Advocate for all things agriculture and rural.
Tunis Sheep Hampshires heed
8/24/2016 74 Comments
We aren't that couple.
It struck me this morning, as my husband and I were walking out the door - there is something I need to tell you. Something I need you to know.
We aren't that couple. In fact, I'm not even sure if we own a pitchfork.
A lot has changed since the 1930's. Our corn yields have increased six times over. We use computers, GPS, seed technology. We grow more, on less water and land. Our farms are bigger, our equipment is bigger, even our animals are bigger. We do all of this with fewer people than ever before in history.
We have college degrees, my husband actually has two. One of us works off the farm full time which is the new norm for farm families - just like non-farm families. We are professionals.
Some people are scared of our advancements. Some want us to farm like we did in the 1930's yet they don't realize that would require 20% of the population to give up their area of expertise and return to the farm. It would require thousands or more acres put into production.
Some people do not appreciate that only 2% of the population does this, so the rest of you can do what you love, what you are good at.
As we leave this morning, headed in different directions - Matt headed to represent the Missouri Corn Growers at an event, me headed to speak at a meeting for young farmers (the business side of what we do)- I'm asking a favor.
Will you trust us?
Will you trust the generations of expertise my husband's family brings? Will you trust our formal degrees and continuing education, plus our informal daily learning?
Will you trust the fact that our family- and only our family- makes the decisions on how this farm is run.
Will you trust that we are feeding your family and OURS and trust that it matters to us.
Will you trust we love this dirt and these animals more than we could ever explain and we do everything in our power to pass it all down in better condition than it is now?
Will you trust that we are devoted to doing this, the right way, for the right reasons and that we know more about how to accomplish that than lawmakers and activists and food bloggers and fitness coaches?
I know we cover more acres and feed more animals than our grandparents did. I know our farm looks more like a business than you imagine it should. I know we carry smartphones instead of pitchforks. I know that you often don't understand what we do and why.
But I also know we are GOOD at this. And we CARE. So will you, can you, trust us to do this?
-Matt & Kate
8/24/2016 12:47:36 pm
You go girl - keep telling our agricultural way of life. As we become fewer & fewer we need more advocates like you.
8/24/2016 05:33:22 pm
A million times THIS! Yes, I trust you. I work with and for fathers every day and they're the hardest working, most ethical group of men and women EVER.
8/24/2016 08:56:41 pm
I trust you! But then again, I'm an agricultural scientist... :-)
8/24/2016 09:25:15 pm
I love this. I grew up as a "city kid" in an agriculturally rich area. I was a 4-H kid who didn't show animals but my trust in farmers and my love for ag is strong. I want my kids to always know farmers are good. Great post.
8/24/2016 11:02:22 pm
Love your article! Thanks for sharing your heart. From one farmgirl to the next...who works a job in town too...i understand.
8/24/2016 11:26:38 pm
8/25/2016 01:53:06 am
Love your comments, and so true. My son does things differently to me just as I did to my dads ways.big challenges ahead to feed a growing population of the world.
8/25/2016 05:06:52 am
Why would someone trust you? Because you have multiple college degrees? Because you carry a phone? Because your farm is bigger than grandpa's? So what?
8/25/2016 06:07:33 am
Hey Chuck!! I am so glad you asked thanks questions! I hope you'll spend some time reading some other posts on my blog - about our no-till practices that help protect our soils and our waterways, about our cover crop practices that help build our soils and microbial health, protect from chemical run-off and soil erosion and help built organic matter. Check out some of the posts about how we use chemical in a responsible and minimal way, thanks in huge part to GMO technology! And make sure and read some of my posts about what our livestock production looks like now!
8/25/2016 06:37:13 am
Kate, thanks for your great response to 'Chuck' - it was the correct response, and not one that I had written in my head.... 😜. Glad you responded and not me!! This is my first introduction to your writing and blog and can't wait to read some archived articles as well future blogs! Stay Strong and Loving what you do! I'll live vicariously thru you👍🏽
8/25/2016 10:10:26 am
8/27/2016 06:01:52 pm
The Green Revolution has indeed increased the crop yield massively, but like all things, it does have its short comings, eg: The amount of energy (petro) required to run machinery and make the beloved fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides that have considerably attributed to this massive yield increase is far too high and is contributing to climate change, there are better technologies that traditional farming in development, which I am sure you know about. GE technology in an on itself has not been responsible for further increase in yields of food, or if it has, only marginally, but arguably has been used successfully to limit the amount of insecticides used. However, nature being nature, we are now seeing weeds that are glyphosate resistant and rootworms that are resistant to traditional Bt GMO crops as well... of course this challenge is already being considered and agrogiants are using genestacking to attenuate this resistance, while at the same time developing new GMO crops resistant to other herbicides such as 2,4-D which is now approved in Canada, and I assume you are likely using it, or will be using it in your trust worthy crops.
8/25/2016 09:34:34 pm
Hey Chuck, I was wondering what do YOU do for a living? And I was wondering if you were doing anything to preserve life and the world, do you live in the city? The reason I ask is because you sound a little critical and judgmental of a life you are mostly likely far removed from and don't have a clue.
8/26/2016 02:26:30 pm
So Chuck, do you only eat what you grow? Kate was very diplomatic. I don't have to be that nice. Can't you see, they are trying to negate the negativity surrounding agriculture today. They are giving their all and trying to hold up an age old occupation that is still necessary today. What do you want from them? More labels? Knock it off. If everyone is so perinoid we are all doomed. Good for you Kate and Matt. Thanks for bringing us back down from our pillars. I bet your corn is awesome!
8/25/2016 05:18:46 am
Awesome blog. It makes me wonder why peoplease would "trust" an antiquated agrarian system that resulted in vast losses of top soil through aggressive and excessive plowing, resulting in more sediment and nutrient loss into waterways. Too few People appreciate that those full groceries stores with fruits, veggies, grains, meats, eggs, and milk was produced by 2% of the population yet 97% family owned farms. It really speaks to the level of privilege we have in the US.
8/25/2016 06:38:05 am
Very well said... YES I trust you, 100%. Have a nice day ;-)
8/25/2016 06:59:53 am
This was great information! FYI, we went to the Boone County fair (northern IL) last week and one dairy farm had posters with facts about raising a cow. Very interesting, but I am sure very few people read these posters! That's the norm nowadays and food just magically appears in the grocery store!
8/25/2016 08:10:48 am
I trust most of you. But there are some around me that I'm not so sure don't need a little control.
8/25/2016 11:54:53 am
Do you use Monsanto seeds? I'm assuming you do since you specially called out corn yields. If so, then no, I don't trust you.
8/25/2016 11:57:55 am
8/25/2016 12:05:28 pm
Pfister is owned by Dow Chemical Company.
8/25/2016 12:23:54 pm
Yes that's correct....
8/25/2016 11:56:16 am
No offense, but farmers are not dietitians.
8/25/2016 12:00:14 pm
8/25/2016 12:05:33 pm
You seem like fine, accomplished people, like many of my neighbors here in rural Kansas. And I'm sure you're trustworthy, but there are real reasons I and many others don't really trust the agricultural system you operate within.
8/25/2016 12:54:10 pm
8/25/2016 03:53:59 pm
Hi Kate! You are correct when you say it would be inefficient and costly to grow other crops that don't respond to your conditions and location. My husband and I grew (we just retired) apples for the fresh market in New York State. Our orchard is planted on a hillside to provide "air drainage" which potentially protects the apple blossoms from a damaging frost (think about opening your top freezer and seeing the cold air rush down to the floor). Apple trees also need a certain number of hours of chilling (2000 hours of temperatures below 40 degrees) to allow the New Years growth to commence. Driving a combine on our farm would be hazardous to your health! We even need specialized equipment (narrow tractors) for getting between the rows of apple trees.
8/27/2016 01:07:41 am
It doesn't appear that Greg is referring to the family-farm livestock productions. He's referring to the factory farms that are in existence that keep their livestock in inhumane environments. If you've seen one or been near one, you'll remember it... cause you'll smell it from many miles away and you'll never want to smell it again in your life (I couldn't stand it and I'm a farm kid).
8/27/2016 02:03:37 pm
Thanks for replying, Kate.
Hi Greg, I guess I am wondering why you think barns are inhumane and cause serious water and air pollution? I happen to live on the same place as our hogs live and I am just seeing what you are seeing. Our hogs are in a much better place than if they were living outside. Our barns have 8' cement pits so the manure is not seeping into the water supply from the pits. Yes, manure is applied on the cropland once a year, right after harvest. We apply it very carefully in the recommended amounts. Too much and we are wasting a valuable resource and too little provides not enough nutrients for next year's crops. Personally, I am glad we have animal agriculture. I love all types of meat and it gives me a good source of protein. I think Kate did a wonderful job on her blog post and I would suggest you follow more farmers. I have a blog at www.mnfarmliving.com which talks about my farm in southern Minnesota. Would love to have a conversation with you!
8/26/2016 03:37:22 pm
Take a drive through southwest Kansas or the Texas panhandle, or follow some backroads anywhere in Kansas until you find the local feedlot. Take some deep breaths. Look at the bare soil and erosion. Look at the cattle knee deep in mud after a rain. Or the dust cloud over it when it's dry. That's what I'm talking about, and it's commonplace. No excuse for it. I'm glad you manage your animals better than this, but there are many, many who don't and there is genuine industrial ag that is polluting and inhumane. I have lived and worked among the giant feedlots, so I'm talking from some experience. I sure don't have all the answers, but I really can't see the upside of most CAFO's.
8/27/2016 09:42:54 am
8/27/2016 02:24:11 pm
Thanks, Rudy, but I've worked 25 years in grain milling and processing. Plenty I don't know, but I will stand by my statement that none of the corn or soy I see between my house and town makes it onto anyone's dinner plate directly. Maybe as byproduct soybean oil, but those beans aren't grown for the oil, they're grown for protein feed. And nearly all the corn goes to feed or ethanol production.
8/25/2016 12:36:09 pm
Excellent article! I am an agronomist, a fourth generation farmer, a wife, and a mother. I work a 'day job' for a crop inputs company, to help support our family while my husband works insane hours, running our custom spraying business. We love agriculture and we proudly do our best to help our customers produce top quality food for humans and livestock, alike.
8/25/2016 12:39:44 pm
Greg I'm also a farm wife with several college degrees and so is my husband, who is also a former banker (retired from that after 32 years to focus on just the farm). In my area (MN) there are a large variety of crops raised by family farmers just like us - corn, soybeans, sugar beets and edible beans (navy, red, black, pinto, etc.) are the main crops. Along with that are red beets, peas, sweet corn, apples, strawberries, grapes, pumpkins, cucumbers and small grains (wheat, oats, barley, etc.), and I probably missed some. Yes, a large percentage of the corn and soybean crop is for livestock feed, but it also is used for ethanol, biodiesel, plastics, waxes, solvents, cooking oils, styrofoam (Ford Motor Company only uses soy-based foam in their seat cushions), food ingredients and thousands of other industrial uses. If all you see is animal feed when you drive through farm country you need to learn more about the incredible versatility of those major crops.
8/26/2016 11:04:57 am
Thanks, Jean. Yes, the upper midwest has a much wider range of crops than we do further south. I was very surprised about that when I worked in that region. Wish we had more of that diversity here.
8/26/2016 09:02:13 pm
Greg, We haul livestock and horses for a living all over the US. I grew up in MN on a dairy crop farm, I went to school for Ag Business and Beef Management and was a custom applicator. In KS, OK, TX, and east there are feed lots yes, yes they smell but that is a fact of life when an animal is outside and the wind blows just right. There are a number of crops that are grown in those regions that are not and would not do well in the upper regions. For example, cotton, peanuts, sorghum, spring wheat and many more. Most of those feed lots also maintain a strict manure policy and either spread the manure on their fields or sell it to other farmers to use as fertilizer. KS, OK, AR, and over to GA are huge chicken and turkey growers, they also have extremely high levels of bio security, manure clean out, very low medication if any in the feed rules etc. There are many places here in MO that are only really good for beef cattle or CRP land as it is just to hilly for crops and the run off would be to great, there for the farmers do not chance it. No one wants run off in water, the farmers family and animals have to also drink that water as your family would. Farmers are perceived poorly because of all the animal rights activists and or city folks that honestly never research for the truth, do not want to hear the truth and are way to good at screaming lies. Stop and talk to a farmer as your driving past a farm you perceive as a mess or smelly, listen to what they tell you and show you. You will learn a great deal by learning to listen to them instead of all the junk in the news that has no truth and the people behind them have no clue.
8/25/2016 12:50:11 pm
Actually, American Gothic depicts the painter's sister and his dentist. Technically speaking.
8/25/2016 12:57:16 pm
8/25/2016 01:56:53 pm
Love this article!! I'm a daughter of 3rd generation farmer and wife of 3rd generation farmer who will raise the 4th! Growing up in a small, farm town I never knew the negativity that surrounds the agriculture industry (mainly by people who have never stepped foot on a farm) and it continues to sadden me the more I see it! Keep spreading the positive word!!
8/25/2016 04:10:10 pm
I appreciate your point of view and respect your obvious hard work. As a medical researcher cancer rates have increased drastically in the last ten years. Oxford released a study of the direct link between childhood leukemia and certain crop pesticides. So I will pay more every single time at the grocery for organic food. I will support my local organic farmers a million times over . Yes it's more expensive but that is why we also have two degrees each :)
8/25/2016 04:56:30 pm
8/26/2016 09:13:18 am
If you're asking for links, you need to post some as well. "Trust me" isn't enough. Not by a long shot. You don't trust Kal - Kal doesn't trust you.
8/27/2016 02:57:09 pm
Kate, about those 200 approved pesticides for organic production, I believe 99% of those must be for produce because I am not aware of any that would be used for field crops other than B.t. and diatomaceous earth, both of which are truly harmless unless you're a bug.
8/26/2016 09:17:19 am
I found this link to the alarming drop in bee population. Is Pfiser partially to blame? Are you? http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/06/05/wisconsin-beekeepers-battle-dramatic-honeybee-losses/85458790/
8/26/2016 09:31:26 am
9/10/2016 09:30:00 am
If Kal truly understood this cancer research he/she claims to do, then he/she would also know that cancer DETECTION abilities have risen vastly over the past few decades. When ability to diagnose and treat early expands, the correlation is more people with the condition. Same wth autism.
9/10/2016 11:36:53 am
While I tend to agree with you, Mel, that there's probably not much connection between cancer rates and residues, that's mostly my hunch, and there does seem to still be a fair amount of suspicion in the scientific community about the effects of residues. Also, it's not just cancer, but Parkinson's and other degenerative diseases that residues sometimes get linked with. So, I think it's fair to say we really don't have all the answers, so some folks are reasonably going to opt for organic foods, which really do test consistently lower for residues than conventional.
8/25/2016 04:54:56 pm
As I read down through these many comments I am disturbed by " the farmers think". I am also a farmer as well as a soil consultant and make recommendations for nutritional needs. I have no specific degree, however tons of great education within the field,(hands on). I operate somewhat opposite to the educational community do in large part to the fact that they are in it for the money. No-till farming is not the answer to improved soil health nor is it healthy for the enivironment. Can it be done in a way to improve it yes, but it takes a long time. If increased production on less acres was the answer farmers would be making a killing. Truth is it takes more acres per farm just to make a little money to live on. If 20% went back to farming there would be less people out of work and more competitive pricing. There would also be less debt on some of these farms and less control by the government or insurance companies on these farms. You don't however have to organic to produce a high quality product but you do need to use less unnatural chemicals and more basic soil chemistry and biology to accomplish this goal. Degrees mean nothing to me because education without common sence is nonsence and that's what I see out in our agriculture community today. If your not balancing your soils using total exchange capacity and balancing both cat ions and anions than you are seriously missing the boat. For those organically minded folks that think chicken manure is the answer to organic fertilizer then think again, because all the things that you complain about gmo's and round up, there are heavy doses of that in all chicken manure and I have never seen it raise any nutrients in any soil ever. Yes large cattle feeding lot being fed high levels of nitrates will be polluting to our environment as well as any product that is fed to them that enhances growth or kills flys. This will make anaerobic manure that will destroy all soil life.
8/25/2016 09:31:46 pm
I'm interested in your free soil evaluation service. Thanks!
8/28/2016 11:30:10 pm
Jerry, just have to say...Albrecht rocks! Thankful we have some people carrying on his work. I agree, it's more than no-till. And more than just cover crops. Great post!
8/25/2016 05:43:30 pm
Thank you. Yes I trust you👍
8/25/2016 05:49:43 pm
You are doing a great service in educating the uninformed. Unfortunately some people believe the media and all the rumors they hear. Thank you and your hus and for doing a difficult job that necessitates a second one nonfat job in order to support a family. When My father fared the small 500 acres he farmed supported 2 families without a
8/26/2016 09:10:22 am
Not sure why you made this blog post. It sounds like something is wrong - are laws about to be passed that will make your farm less profitable? Is it the profitability of the farming community at large that concerns you, and as a result, the profits you reap from being in the lending industry? I trust you about as much as I trust the rest of the world - which is not much. I'm sure you care. I'm sure you're being as careful as you are required by law. I'm sure it is important to feed as many people as possible using as little land & water as possible. However, if there is even the possibility that a chemical being used will harm people, usage needs to be halted. If any company has made a genetic version of food legally their own and only allowed to be grown for a price, that needs to be stopped. If anything we as a people are doing will cause bees to be wiped off the face of the earth, that needs to be stopped. I do not have any solid facts to link to. I have also not seen any from you. Just the request to "Trust us." Whenever people come out of the blue asking for trust, that means they have something to hide.
8/26/2016 09:41:15 am
9/2/2016 09:15:19 pm
How much money do you make? How big is your house? What kind of car do you drive? What year is your car? What do you work for, if not the almighty dollar?
9/10/2016 09:37:07 am
How about you answer all those, Anita? If you think farmers are anywhere close to even middle of the road in terms of wealth you're deluded. Many can barely get by- even with a spouse working off the farm.
8/26/2016 10:55:04 am
Very much enjoyed your comments and replies, Kate. Very good information!
8/26/2016 01:06:56 pm
I think there is some misunderstanding regarding this post - it was not written "out of the blue" - is a one post out of many in a blog that spans years. Before you question, criticize or argue with the author - you should educate yourself to this author by reading the rest of her blog. Once your have done that, I will take your comments to her post much more seriously. Until then, your are just another troll.
8/26/2016 02:36:02 pm
8/26/2016 04:24:49 pm
Do you accept any payments from the Federal government? Does any one tell you that you have to have your crops in by a certain day or there is no insurance? Is there anyone telling you that you can only plant this many acres of that crop or loose your federal money? Does a banker come to your farm and ask you what you have planted and/or count your livestock? Did some college professor tell you that if you changed your breed of animals it would yield more even if the quality decreased a little you could make more money? Did a roundup salesman tell you that if you got rid of the weeds with their corn the would be more profit in it, so you followed suit with no idea what would happen to the bees in the neighbors fields? Has the government ever offered to pay you for your milk cows to decrease the production nation wide to maintain prices? There are a hundred other questions that can be asked and you know what they are, you know that you farm to make a profit, not to exist. If you can honestly answer all these questions with a no then I can trust you, otherwise you like a wall street stock trader are just trying to make a little more money, and there can be no trust in someone who does something, even if it's what they love, for a dollar.
8/26/2016 08:14:34 pm
9/10/2016 12:53:58 pm
Hey Howard, how did you make money for the computer you're using to spew all of those lies? Do you go to work every day to make money? Do you work 365 days a year at your "job" as a dairy farmer does? You've got a whole lot wrong sir...
8/26/2016 10:03:00 pm
I am an Agriculture Teacher at a public school. This is what I tell my students, please take it with a grain of salt.
8/27/2016 09:45:19 am
Thank you Mary Anne for sharing that wisdom! That's good advice that I need to remember myself more often!!
8/27/2016 02:16:19 am
8/27/2016 10:41:59 am
Well done! Thank you for not only working in Ag , but also serving Ag with leadership and volunteerism. You've got a great story you're telling. Keep up the good work!
8/27/2016 01:43:43 pm
I was enjoying your article and agreeing with some of your points. Trust is a problem. You use roundup ready corn, you must use pfisters chemicals exclusively on the corn. You spray RoundUp to kill your cover crop when planting corn. You can't seed save corn. I am sure you do many great and positive things but you also seem like a PR family for Pfister/Dow.
8/27/2016 02:03:19 pm
8/27/2016 03:35:04 pm
I would never use the word dumb, but we all have different intentions. Walmart vs Whole Foods. They would both say "trust us". One if the biggest dead zones in all the worlds oceans is at the mouth of the Mississippi. Modern, smart, trust us, agriculture is to blame. You and your farm might gain my trust, but agriculture in America is not even close to "just trust us" status.
8/30/2016 03:52:02 pm
Love this! Short, sweet & bang on!
10/27/2022 07:55:30 pm
I really want to thank Dr Emu for saving my marriage. My wife really treated me badly and left home for almost 3 month this got me sick and confused. Then I told my friend about how my wife has changed towards me. Then she told me to contact Dr Emu that he will help me bring back my wife and change her back to a good woman. I never believed in all this but I gave it a try. Dr Emu casted a spell of return of love on her, and my wife came back home for forgiveness and today we are happy again. If you are going through any relationship stress or you want back your Ex or Divorce husband you can contact his whatsapp +2347012841542 or email email@example.com
Leave a Reply.
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
All Ag Industry Conservation Cooking Cover Crops Crop Farming Farmer's Wife Farm Takeover Fertilizers Food Safety Gardening GMOs Hunting And Fishing Lamb Livestock Local Farmers Modern Farming Mom #My60Acres Parenting Politics Pumpkin Recipes Recipes Running Rural Lifestyle Sheep Showing Livestock Sunday Struggles #SustainabilitySundays #UptownUploads