“When your name is on it, your heart is in it.”
Farmers often get defensive when someone says something negative (perceived or real) about our produce, our production methods, or our farms. We can get a little angry. We can overreact. We might stop listening and start attacking.
If you’ve experienced a farmer act this way when you’ve asked a question or tried to make a point, please forgive us. It’s just that what we do is really personal. Sure, it’s just an apple or just a jug of milk or just an ear of corn. But we’ve invested a lot of sweat equity into it. A lot of financial equity. A lot of heart equity. In other words, we’ve invested a lot of ourselves into our products. So we tend to take it a little personal when we think someone is going to complain about it, tell us its wrong, or mock our efforts.
It isn’t necessarily rational. And we probably need to be more aware of it. But try keeping it in mind when you want to talk. Because we’re really proud of what we do and how we do it. We have literally tied our family’s name to the work we do. And we often have people tell us we’re doing a bad job. And when you put so much of yourself into what you’re doing, that kind of jab is a gut punch.
But that kind of investment is important too. Because it means that we care. We want to sell you the best apple and the creamiest jug of milk and the sweetest corn. We want to be good stewards of our family’s land while we have it. We want to be the best animal caretakers possible. We want to live up to the name on the farm sign right by the road.
So, yes, we tend to get a little defensive. Please forgive us. We’ve put our names, and our hearts, into that food.
Melissa Mercier says
You nailed it Sister! Thank you!