COLUMN: Farmers should embrace ‘green’ label
Recently an urban writer followed me on Twitter. At first, I didn’t think much of it, but then I noticed that she had added me to a list. The list was titled “green bloggers.”
My first response was, “Boy, is she going to be disappointed.” But then, with encouragement from some social media friends, I realized it was an amazing opportunity. How could I pass it up?
You see, “green” is another one of those terms that has been hijacked. It is defined so differently by so many, yet those it means the most to — farmers — use it the least.
In fact, I was first offended to be called “green.” To me, it meant that I was more concerned about how my food got to my plate, instead of just being grateful that I could put anything there to begin with.
To me, it meant that I thought more about how creation began and less about how it would continue to exist.
To me, it meant that I was willing to believe that God could use science to create cures for diseases and ailments, but he couldn’t possibly use science to prevent starvation and hunger for so many of his people.
But none of that is true.
Being green is an awareness, not an action. It can be, but doesn’t have to be. Being green is making decisions knowing that you’re doing what’s best for the next generation, based on what you know and your experiences. Being green is as personal as religion. Yet, being green is not a religion.
A lot of times farmers shout from the rooftops that they are the original environmentalists. And although that is true, it doesn’t do us much good to keep reminding people. Instead, let’s show them.
Actions speak louder than words. So let our actions speak for us.
Is our equipment larger than decades ago? Yes, but that means fewer trips down the field, less fuel and greater time savings. Do our fields have company signs on them? Sure, but it’s more for our information than anything else. That way, farmers know which brand, which variety worked best for the conditions that year. Kind of like labeling your garden rows.
The biggest question: Is technology worth it? My simple answer is yes. Unequivocally. Technology allows us the opportunity to use state-of-the-art tools and equipment to use less fuel, fewer chemicals and be more aware of our impact on future generations.
But the best part of it all? The ability to choose. You can choose what does/does not work for your farm, your family, your table, your health. And that’s the most important advancement of all.
I no longer will fear the label of being “green.” Instead, I will embrace it. And perhaps, before long, my grass will be, too.
Val Wagner loves raising her four boys on the farm in Dickey County, along with her husband, Mark. Catch her blog, Wag’n Tales, at wagfarms.wordpress.com, or follow one of their cows on Twitter at Cows_Life. Contact her at email@example.com.