IF FARMERS HAD BUSINESS CARDS …

Farmers don’t really have business cards.  The fact is that farmers grow up, work their entire lives, and die in the same small communities where everyone knows them and there are absolutely no need for business cards.  Still, the rest of the world understands business cards as a way of telling someone new who you are and what you do.

IF farmers had business cards, here are a few I think they would trade …
farmer business cards 1Every successful farmer is a pro at marketing and economics.  Think about it – farms are one of the very few industries that don’t get the privilege of charging whatever they want or need for their products.  If the price goes up to plant corn, farmers can not pass that cost onto their consumers!  So they become exceptional at marketing and watching for market signals.  If they aren’t good at marketing and economics, they aren’t farmers for long.

farmer business cards 4

Some farmers are very engaged in various social media platforms and other public relations efforts.  One of our farmer leaders hosts tours to their farm for Chicago folks, hoping to alleviate fears for the people who are concerned about their food.  Other farmer leaders have active Facebook pages to help their online community understand what farmers do and why.  Public relations is a big priority for farmers across the nation as non-farmers show more significant concerns about how farms are managed and food is grown.

farmer business cards 5

Every farmer is a mechanic, handiman, and even a computer tech when the mechanics and electronics in the tractor, combine, grain bin, fuel tank, or office quit working!  There is a popular saying that a farmer can fix anything with baling wire and duct tape.  In the age of technology, I’m not sure that’s 100 percent true, but it is pretty close.  Farmers are excellent at knowing how things work and repairing them with only what they have.

farmer business cards 3

Oh, the weather.  The weather is the biggest joy and the biggest heartache of farming.  When the weather is appropriate for the growing crops – rain when crops need rain, heat when crops need heat, cool and dry when crops need cool and dry – farmers delight in a gray soggy day or a 95 degree day in August.  When hail or high winds or too much rain or too much heat show up, the weather can ruin a year of work.  Farmers must be climatologists to try to predict when to plant, when to apply fertilizer, when to harvest and when to do a myriad of other tasks to optimize their efforts.

farmer business cards 2

Farmers make their living off the land and their families eat the crops they grow and drink the water from their wells.  Because of this connection with the land and the fact that they rely on it for their yearly sustenance, farmers are expert environmentalists.  They are interested in preserving soil and water quality because that soil and water must be available to plant a crop next year and 50 years down the road.  They care about the wildlife and the preservation of what they have spent their lifetime building.  Farmers work hard to protect the environment and they appreciate everything the land gives to them.

Questions about how farmers do all these jobs and more every day?  Ask away in the comments!

Lindsay MitchellLindsay Mitchell
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Manager

 

 

 

A COUPLE OF SURPRISES ABOUT FARMERS

Always excited to see something that’s not negative in the media.  (Isn’t that something?  We’ve come so far that we don’t wait to see the positive, just are happy to see something not negative!?)

cowsAnyway, this article was fun.

Imagine.  U.S. News and World Report running something that sets the record straight on farmers.  It’s a cold day, and we’re not sure where, but we’ll take it!

12 THINGS I LEARNED GROWING UP ON A FARM

  1. “If you mess with the bull, you get the horns.” I know this is a pretty common saying, but that is also a very solid piece of advice on a cattle farm.
  2. Being sick might get you out of school for a day, but it rarely gets you out of chores.
  3. Hay bales are significantly heavier than straw bales.
  4. The “Circle of Life” is more than just a great song from The Lion King; it’s also a lesson that all farm kids start learning very early in life.
  5. Hard work is not an option. And when that hard work starts paying off, it is so much more rewarding than something you didn’t have to work for at all.
  6. “Curiosity killed the cat.” Again, a common saying but also a very literal lesson on the farm! (See “Circle of Life” in lesson #4.)
  7. You can fix just about anything with duct tape, twine, and a little imagination.
  8. “The difference between getting a job done and getting the job done right is usually about 5 minutes.”
  9. Anything after 7 a.m. is “damn near noon” and it’s in your best interest to get out of bed before that time. Besides, the animals eat before you do, so if you want breakfast you better be out in the barn bright & early!
  10. Respect. The farm life teaches you respect for so many things. Respect for animals, respect for the land, respect for Mother Nature, and respect for others.
  11. You will have to tell your friends over and over again that cow tipping is not a real thing. (See lesson #1. It’s not a good idea, people.)
  12. Resilience. Farming a’int easy, my friends. The success of your farm can greatly differ from one year to the next. But we always keep on truckin’ because we do what we love and we love what we do!

rsandersonRosalie Sanderson
Membership Administrative Assistant