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
Kate Lambert grew up in northern Illinois, not on a farm but active in FFA and showing livestock.
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