Thursday, June 5, 2014

Put Your Trust In Agriculture Part 1: Motivation

"Act in a manner that is ethical and consistent." -Center for Food Integrity

In today's modern, technologically savvy, urban dense society, the average American is over three-generations removed from the family farm. In my grandparents generation, nearly everyone had a chicken or two and a milk cow in the back yard. Today, that's not how society runs. The majority of consumers buy all of their food from the grocery store and most have no idea how it got there.

To no surprise, there seems to be a new trend of consumers wanting to know "where their food comes from". As a producer, it's easy to look out my kitchen window and know exactly where my food comes from. The way my momma raised me, if you have something someone else needs, share it.

As a food producer, I am confident in American agriculture products produced daily. At the end of the day, my family and I are consumers, just like non-agriculture Americans. We eat at the same restaurants, we buy the same groceries, we prepare the same meals that are set at the table and blessed, just like everyone else.

Therefore, over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting a series of seven blog posts all related to trust. Luckily, according to The Center For Food Integrity, there are seven elements to trust-building transparency. I'll reveal these seven elements through my blogs, and why farmers should be the most trust-worthy individual in America.....after all, they are the ones that feed and clothe the world.

Plus! As an additional bonus, I have made contact with some farmers of my generation. They are the future of farming and have graciously offered up their time to lay input on the seven reasons farmers do what we do.

The first element to understanding and trusting farmers is understanding the motivation behind what we do.

My first guest blogger to address the topic of "motivation" is Brett Moriarty. Although a recent graduate of Texas A&M, Brett reigns from Medical Lake, Washington where he grew up on a diversified farming operation primarily working with horses and cattle.

"Farming and ranching are not simply jobs" Brett says, "to some they are just a career, but to many farming/ranching is a lifestyle."

According to the USDA, 98% of all farms are family farms, so for families like mine and Brett's, farming is not just a form of revenue, it's a family tradition. 

Brett goes on to say "Those members of society who are involved in production agriculture are some of the best hearted people you will ever come across. They take pride in getting things done to the best of their abilities.

To any readers who also have the responsibility of being a parent, you can easily relate to one of the integral parts of agriculture: nurturing another living being.

Some people make the claim that farmers and ranchers are in it to 'get rich'. However, there is a good chance that these critics have never been a part of agriculture. The margins in the business are often extremely small. This means that whether a producer farms crops or raises livestock, they must keep the health of their product as the number one priority. Maintaining a healthy, productive, efficient animal is the best solution."

So, what's Brett's conclusion?

"Ultimately, a farmer or rancher is motivated by their ability to supply safe, wholesome food to consumers, (a category that everyone falls into), as well as by a continued effort to build a more sustainable process so future generations can experience an increased quality of life."

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