Hello, my name is Amanda. Yes, I am actually a farmer’s daughter.
I grew up on my parent’s farm in Southwest Michigan. We had grain and a full course of fruits and vegetables. My brother is now a fourth generation farmer. I didn’t always love the hard work, but I’ve come to appreciate it. I’m extremely happy I was given the opportunity to work so closely with my grandparents and parents. It is an experience I will cherish forever.
Unfortunately, life outside of the farm has revealed some glaring problems. People really have no idea what we do. The perception of farmers, even today, is a bunch of hicks playing in the dirt – polluting our precious water, abusing livestock, and growing food we aren’t sure is safe. Stories constantly emerge that lack an understanding of food production and practices; pink slime and baby pigs ruthlessly separated from mom come to mind.
However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Farming is a sophisticated business with responsible owners and operators. Family farms have been in business for generations, using the same land and water resources. In reality, taking care of the land and water is exceptionally important. The passionate farmers working every day making responsible choices are what I consider true environmental stewards. They get it.
But that isn’t enough. Agricultural issues are all over today. Child labor laws. Commercial driver’s licenses. Farm Bill. Immigration. “Fun” new trends are also emerging. Organic. Natural Foods. Local. Sustainability. Information is getting out to the public, but it usually isn’t the whole story.
I recently graduated from law school and, now that I have a bit more free time, I wanted to participate in the discussion in a more meaningful way. The goal of this blog is to do just that. I’ll have updates on important and pressing farm issues and legislation, provide accurate information on trendy issues (those poor baby pigs!), and be a resource for communicating with non-farm people. My hope is to add a touch of sophistication and reality to the sensationalist stories floating around.
I hope you find this blog helpful, interesting, and insightful. I would love to hear your comments, suggestions, and story tips!