Grit Blogs > Terra Dei Farm - A Life of Stewardship

I Read Dead People - Part 2

In my last post I spoke of captives, people chained in caves, people shunned and stalkers in dark alleys.  Missed it?  Read it here, as this post builds heavily upon it.


As we are all well aware, there are many raging debates in the agricultural world today.  Debates ranging in subject from ethics, to sustainability, to overhead costs and profits, regulations versus liberties…on and on, you get the idea. 

Yet, while overall public awareness is increasing, it is still only those involved in agriculture that can see the true forms.  The public consumer is akin to the prisoner chained in the cave.  They see the food in grocery stores and restaurants – the finished product.  And, as we know, the finished visible food product is only the shadow of the process – only a shadow of the people, animals, work and sweat it takes to get our food from farm to table.  Yet, just as the people chained in the cave were truly convinced that the shadows they saw was reality to its fullest degree, so people who go to the store and purchase food believe that they know the full truth.  However, as you know, the real form of our nation’s food supply involves so much more. 

 Boer Doeling 

So, if the public consumer is like the prisoner chained in a cave seeing and hearing only shadows and echoes (finished food products), those of us in the agricultural world become like the freed prisoner who is able to see the whole picture instead of only the shadows.  We know the whole picture because we see and experience all that goes into working for, caring for and providing for animals and crops. 

But, remember what happened to that freed prisoner once he returned to his fellow inmates and tried to share truth with them and free them from ignorance?  Criticism.  Disbelief.  Condemnation.

barbed wire study 1 

Which brings us back to the previously mentioned raging debates in the world of agriculture.

We who see the forms – the behind the scenes work of farm life, crop and livestock production – have a right (and some may say; responsibility) to educate consumers about we do.  Consumers deserve to know where their food comes from and what it takes to get it to them.  But the more we argue amongst ourselves concerning sustainability versus production, the longer it takes to gain the public strides which are needed.

I’m not simply suggesting that we all just get along and agree to disagree.  I realize that some of us hold ideals that are directly opposed to another’s – which makes agreeing to disagree morally impossible.  However, I also realize that there is always room to gain knowledge and all of us hold beliefs that are possibly rooted in ignorance.  

Peach Tree Buds 

We need to continuously educate ourselves, shed light upon the truth in order to cast out the false shadows and echoes. For, being objectively educated is the best way that we can then serve as educators to the consumers. It’s only when both consumer and producer understand what goes into agricultural production that we can then determine the future of agriculture. 

Therefore, in order to accomplish true progress, it is time to turn the debates into conversations.

Duroc Hampshire Cross Hogs 

nebraska dave
7/30/2012 10:19:09 PM

Alexandria, you are right on. My method of showing truth is to educate my grandson about the food he likes so much. The sweet corn was only known to come from the store. Leaning how to plant it, grow it, fight the weather conditions, fight the critters of the night, only to harvest a few ears of corn. It has made his view of sweet corn a whole lot different. I told him he should be thankful for the people that grow his store bought corn, the people that bring it to the store, and the store for selling it to him. He said, "But grandpa, I don't even know those people." After being told that he could be thankful for those people anyway, his response was, "I can do that?" He still has a long way to go to grasp the total concept of the food chain but being only seven and living with an old school grandpa, he just might have a better chance of learning about the real under lying problem with the current food system. However, at the same time we still frequent Mc Donald's on occasion to eat nuggets and play in the play station. We stop by the Local Quiktrip for a slurpee and enjoy other indulgences of life just not every day. School is for readin', writin', and ritmatic. How to live in the world and make common sense decisions is up to the parents .... or grandparents. Thanks for your encouragement to continue to educate folks about the food we eat. Have a great food day.