I usually don’t read the Sunday paper. On Sundays, I spend some time catching up on paperwork and enjoying quiet time in my office without the phone ringing; but, a few weeks ago, I picked up the Sunday paper as an impulse purchase at the local gas station because page 1 had a barn pictured on it. Now, this picture was not of a working barn filled with feed or livestock. This was a farmstead complex on the Epic Systems campus in Verona. (Epic Systems is a fast-growing health care software development firm.)
Paragraph five on page 1 of the Sunday paper was a statement that shocked me:
“There’s something more than a bit ironic about techies working in buildings designed to look like a farm.”
I re-read it to be sure that’s what it said. Yes, ironic was the term the reporter used. What was she getting at? That farms aren’t using technology? That farmers aren’t business-savvy? I could only speculate.
Well, I thought about it for 24 hours. Then I took 10 minutes to write a short, concise, respectful note (sent via email) to the reporter, Judy Newman:
Hello Judy: The article about Epic’s barn was most interesting in Sunday’s paper. I was struck, however, by a sentence in your article that says… “There’s something more than a bit ironic about techies working in buildings designed to look like a farm.” What would be ironic about it? I am not sure what you are getting at here, but if I think more about it, I would guess that you are not familiar with how technology is used on farms like ours today.
I believe our local hospital, UW Health Partners, Watertown Regional Medical Center uses electronic medical records, similar to Epic. I also know our hospital staff – several departments – has come out to tour our farm to see how we are using technology and how we focus on each cow and calf to provide “personalized” care, which our computer system helps us do.
I would like to invite you out to see our farm, or suggest other farms for you to visit so you might be able to see how farming has adopted many technologies to care for the land and our animals.
Our farm is on Facebook and I would invite you to learn more about us there as well. Thank you for your consideration, Daphne
I have not heard back from the reporter yet, but I will be following up with her to reiterate the invitation to visit our farm and see first-hand what we do and why. What would she think if she got 100 comments – or more – from other farmers? I bet we’d get her attention and she’d re-think her assumption.
The next time opportunity knocks, I will be answering and I hope you will too!
Click here to read the article Daphne refers to.
Maybe she meant the irony to be: techies in a barn designed before electricity. Sad to see country spaces turned into buildings with all that wasted space. If I drove by the site I would rather look at a beautiful old farmstead than an office building. Maybe they are paying tribute to the families that built this country with hard work before the days of medical excess and welfare. We all know that isn’t the design of the modern dairy farm. We have taken the charm and beauty of the old days out of them too. What is missing from the site is a pasture with a herd of beautiful Guernsey cows. Kuduo’s to Verona for creating all those jobs.