Jake Leguee, Saskatchewan, Canada is a member of the Global Farmer Network who blogs. Below is a short excerpt from his most recent post:
“When you feel you need to create change in farming systems to improve its impact on the environment, make your food safer, or even to protect farmers, make sure your first step is to actually talk to farmers. And not just one or two of them; talk to as many as you can. A grain farm like mine is very different from a vegetable farm in California, or a dairy farm in Ontario, or even a cattle ranch in southwest Saskatchewan. We all have our challenges and struggles. We all have had our great successes and terrible failures. We all have varying opinions on almost everything we do. But no one on this planet knows more about their farmland than farmers do. No one else spends thousands of hours going across the land, crawling over every little pothole and knoll, watching as the snow melts and rain falls, observing the waving of wheat heads in the wind, listening to the buzzing of millions of insects and animals in the calm of the evening. No one else understands how the water moves across the land, how this spot or that one dries out first, where the air drill is most likely to get stuck if it rains. No one else feels the deep connection that comes from farming the same piece of land for decades, even centuries, from one generation to the next. No one else cares for that piece of farmland like a farmer does.
So next time you think about farming, its impact on the environment, and how that could be improved, reach out to me or any of the other 193,000 farmers in Canada, or the farmers in whatever country you’re from. Next time you decide to put on a conference or digital event about agriculture, ask some farmers to be involved as presenters and panelists. Then give them the freedom to speak their minds. You might be surprised at what you hear, and what solutions might be beneficial for the people who actually make a living from the land.
The best way to move forward is to talk to each other. And listen.”