How Do You Celebrate National Agriculture Day..?

How Do You Celebrate National Agriculture Day..?

I hate to be the crasher of any party, especially one like National Agriculture Day. But as I woke up this morning and scrolled through nearly every feed on my timeline I saw people in agriculture celebrating today by not only sharing why they are proud to be in the industry but also the mantra, “thank a farmer” is going rampant. And yes, if you look back in my feed, I have been guilty of uttering those few words, on a number of occasions but today something about it just didn’t feel right. I guess I had a change of heart and lately for a woman of many words, I’ve been with a loss for what to say. Luckily, I have social media friends who can eloquently say what I am unable to…

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You’ve got three farmers discussing National Ag Day and this is what is said. I know this blog probably won’t be taken with welcome arms. And it isn’t the sugar coated version. But it’s honesty and it’s truth and sometimes the truth hurts. And why all of a sudden the light comes on…? Who knows? But let’s step outside of the box here for a minute. Let’s assume we had nothing to do with agriculture and that in fact we were an average customer. We would see a bunch of Ag people going around patting themselves on their back and urging you to “thank them” for what they do. Doesn’t that just seem silly…? I mean, please tell me I’m not the only one who all of a sudden saw the light….? Now don’t get me wrong here. I am not trying to criticize or call anyone out here. Afterall, like I said, I’m guilty of it just as much as the next. So what can we do? How should we celebrate National Ag Day…? Well, I wrote a post about WHY I am AgProud yesterday. Β Click the photo if you want to read it.

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I wrote about how fortunate I feel to be able to be involved in the wonderful industry that is agriculture. I wrote about what I’ve learned about agriculture since I’ve moved to North Dakota. I wrote about my personal reasons as to WHY I feel lucky to be involved in agriculture and eventually raise a family in agriculture. I was genuine, I was real, and I wrote straight from my heart.

We have so much to be thankful for in Agriculture. Why not be humble and share those things with our customers…? Or here’s an idea, if you’re going to thank someone, why not thank everyone else for supporting us in agriculture…? Instead of tooting our own horns, let’s take today to be humble. Let’s take today to reflect on all the blessings agriculture provides our own lives and families. And when someone outside looks in on our circle that is Agriculture, let’s not show them a bunch of people going around patting each other on the back. But instead a bunch of people being humble about what the Good Lord has given them. Happy National Ag Day everyone.

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34 Comments

  1. March 19, 2013 / 10:43 am

    Will your sentiment be the same on National Soldier’s Day? Or National Teacher’s Day? Or National Firefighters Day? Or National Nurse’s Day?

    • March 19, 2013 / 11:12 am

      I think any one demographic trying to guilt or pressure the world into appreciating them, is counterproductive. No one likes to be told who they should appreciate — however, showing WHY they should be appreciated and HOW they help the world goes way further.

      I’ve spent a lot of time incredibly involved in veteran-related projects, whether through honoring them or providing services or holding special events. My brother himself is a veteran, spent 8 years in the Navy. However, I very rarely, if ever, see a veteran say, on Veterans Day, “You should thank me.”

      I think, as a lover of agriculture, a farmer’s daughter, and a communications and advocacy professional, spending each and every day showing why ag matters goes way further than demanding any sort of respect or gratitude.

      • March 19, 2013 / 11:26 am

        Well said Kelly! I agree whole heartily!

    • March 19, 2013 / 11:27 am

      I’m not sure how to respond to this besides yes. If I was part of the armed services, fight fighter, or nurse, I would celebrate that day by sharing with people WHY I was proud to do so. And why I feel humble to be able to serve the community in which I do.

    • JoshinYall
      March 19, 2013 / 11:51 am

      Those days/professions you mentioned arent really what I consider a part of the capitalist system. They are service-oriented by nature. They are extremely important, they deserve a day, but more than just a day. We’ve (or the powers that be) try to put ag in the same vein as those, and its not. Yes our products go to feed the world, but yes you are paid for them. Not paid by the government *cough, corn guys jk* but profit depends largely on your efficiency/timing/luck/market etc etc.

      • Cocky Corn
        March 19, 2013 / 7:35 pm

        Silly Dairymen, always pointing fingers at corn… Sad thing is that Uncle Sam really has not supported corn the last four years, you know… since the price of corn has increased and made it a bit more expensive to feed your cows πŸ˜‰ OK, back to the main point of this blog. Martyr’s

  2. Pam Thompson
    March 19, 2013 / 10:43 am

    Good point. Kind of like “If you can read this, thank a teacher”. . .except, I taught myself to read πŸ™‚ I thank my OB for a great delivery of twins with a pretty hefty payment. I thank people with my checkbook!

    • March 19, 2013 / 10:46 am

      LOL! Excellent points Pam! Sometimes I wonder what people outside of agriculture think about us…?

    • March 19, 2013 / 10:46 am

      Thank you. I’ve never been that girl who “fits in” but I’ve always tried πŸ˜‰

      • March 19, 2013 / 10:48 am

        Fitting in is overrated! My National Ag Day post was heading down a pessimistic road today, but I did pull it back to the road more heavily traveled and typed the words, “thank a farmer.” lol

    • March 19, 2013 / 11:15 am

      I mean, at least you’re writing an Ag Day post. I have guest posts that need to be revised and have been sitting in my email box. No Ag Day post on KellyMRivard.com today πŸ™

  3. March 19, 2013 / 10:58 am

    Jenny, although I, too, have been guilty of pushing the “Thank a Farmer” idea (was involved in the first effort to get #ThankaFarmer trending several years ago), I’ve been preaching for some time now that we need to “thank a consumer” for placing their trust in us every time they purchase food. The original idea behind #ThankaFarmer was to remind consumers during the holidays that their turkey, rib roast, sweet potatoes, apple pie, etc. are all products of agriculture and the people who work hard every day to grow food. As the dialogue has evolved, I think we need to move beyond that mantra and use events like National Ag Day to encourage consumers to “Ask a Farmer” their questions about food production!

    • March 19, 2013 / 11:08 am

      Daren, I want to high five you. But that’s nothing new.

      Just…hold your hand low enough that I can reach.

  4. March 19, 2013 / 11:14 am

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Jenny. This has been something I’ve wrestled with for a few years now, that we’ve talked about. I don’t have to tell you how much I agree.

    As I stated in a response to an earlier comment, it just isn’t a good use of our time to demand thanks — in fact, that typically turns off audiences. A much more proactive and productive approach is showing the what, why, and how of agriculture — show the world WHY they should appreciate you, rather than demand that they do.

    Happy Ag Day!

    • March 19, 2013 / 11:28 am

      I guess it just took an “off day” and a little help from my friends! Love my social media friends! Y’all are the best!

  5. March 19, 2013 / 11:18 am

    You’re not alone out there, Jenny. I don’t try to go out of my way to hype up things like Ag Day. Like you, I may do such things from time to time, but I don’t like big, public pats on the back. Increasing awareness of what is happening today in ag is great, but I think we can look a bit self congratulatory. It’s very nice when someone goes out of their way to thank me for farming, but I try to never ask for that thanks. I enjoy my job enough as it!

    • March 19, 2013 / 11:25 am

      Thank you Brian! I have no other words to respond but wonderful comment!

  6. March 19, 2013 / 11:55 am

    I’m glad someone finally said it! I am guilty of using the hashtag as well, but I’ve never felt comfortable asking for thanks. Even if you get it, it kind of loses meaning if you have to ask. I’ve written it a few times, I read every post outloud to hear it before I publish, and that phrase never sounds right. I have written “we’ll thank the cows for you”, but those ladies deserve it :). Anyway, I think (or hope) my Nat’l Ag day post reflects the sentiment you’re suggesting. Life on a farm is not easy, but farming isn’t something we do for other people. We do it because we love it.

    • March 19, 2013 / 1:28 pm

      Amen! πŸ™‚ and yes I’m guilty of it too. You can find my posts out there. πŸ˜‰ but the best part of being a blogger and even a person is admitting our downfalls, learning from them, and growing because of them.

  7. JoshinYall
    March 19, 2013 / 11:59 am

    If we do anything on these kinds of days, it should be customer appreciation. Are we organizing free bbqs, or food giveaways, or whatever. I dont do anything, but I think its the way to go. Who in the world thought self-promotion was good PR? Frustrating part, which I tweeted a little bit about, is Im lumped in to this without my choice. “So I guess Im supposed to thank you now huh?” “Yeah no dont worry about it, wasnt my idea” “Oh so now youre too good for my thanks?” “Sigh”

    Only thing that could be worse if our dairy/beef/corn checkoff dollars funded this somehow, wait I bet it did.

    I get that we have tons of these national days, mostly to build/maintain awareness I guess, but whoever is paying attention is already in the choir or hates our guts already so Id prefer there to be nothing.

    Great post btw!

    @JoshinYall

    • March 19, 2013 / 1:27 pm

      Brilliant! Please blog some more. I miss your commentaries! πŸ˜‰

  8. March 19, 2013 / 12:23 pm

    Yes, I have often thought the same thing! You are spot on. I think it’s imperative to consider the consumer point of view.

    • March 19, 2013 / 1:27 pm

      Tessa- I agree! What do consumers/customers think of things like this…?

  9. March 19, 2013 / 1:02 pm

    i agree and i would have never thought that but here what i see i see these days like ag day or the thank a farmer week or FFA week all of these as postives that help us as agriculturists reach across to consumers not brag about we do but to have them understand better what it is we do and maybe gain there trust and appercation. We need to be humble and remeber that there are people who dont want to make that connection. Good thoughts jenny

  10. March 19, 2013 / 2:28 pm

    I see National Ag Day not as a day to ask to be thanked for what farmers do, but as an opportunity to share and remember what farmers and those in agriculture do. Just like Secretaries or Boss’ or Veterans Days – it is a day to remember in all the hustle and bustle what farmers do.

  11. March 19, 2013 / 11:45 pm

    Jenny, A lot of us have noticed the same thing at different times. Everyone’s journey is different and people have different ways of “celebrating.” You make great points but I have to wonder if some say these things in these ways because they feel like they have a thankless job at times. Maybe it’s more important to focus on why we should be thankful as you said than we are of why we should be thanked.

  12. March 20, 2013 / 10:18 am

    I’ve thought this for a long time now – ‘thank a farmer’ ranks up there with ‘education’ in my book. We should engage, re: Daren’s ‘ask a farmer’ comment. Nobody wants to be told that we have to appreciate something. Gratitude is most enjoyed when it’s unexpected, in my opinion. Great post and glad you wrote it!