Agriculture has been challenged with low milk prices, low grain and commodity prices, high land rent prices and the never-ending battle with the weather, every time the weatherman predicts rain it seems that we get more than we bargain for. When you are caught in a bind with the struggles in agriculture, what do you lean on?
Looking at the struggles the past couple years, I have found I lean on the 4 F’s.
Faith – Praying for rain or praying the rain stops, it’s a battle we face in agriculture. It seems that we can never be perfectly happy on the weather, either it’s too wet or too dry, or there aren’t enough heat days for the corn to grow. Dolly Parton says, “the way I see it, if you want the rainbow you gotta put up with the rain!” The next time it’s raining, take some time to think about agriculture and the challenges you are facing, and enjoy the beauty that is being shown to us in the rainbow that follows. We won’t be given more than we can handle, so take every rainstorm and challenge as it comes.
Family – In agriculture it seems that we lean on family a lot, to me family is a broad term. Yes, my immediate family is always there if needed, but I think of you as part of my Farm Bureau family. In the agriculture industry, we are one big family. There is no one who understands the daily struggles of agriculture better than those who are living it. This year’s WFBF Annual Meeting theme is ‘Rooted in Family’. I hope you, as part of my Farm Bureau family, are able to attend this year’s WFBF Annual Meeting to connect with other farmers who are facing the same struggles.
Farming – Caring for animals and fieldwork is necessary to farming, and the farm is the reason we are all a part of Farm Bureau. As farmers, we care for not only our families, but for the world. We are proud to be part of such a great industry. Montgomery Gentry said it best in their song Something to Be Proud Of, they say “you don’t need to make a million, just be thankful to be workin’. If you’re doing what you’re able and putting food there on the table, and providing for the family that you love, that’s something to be proud of.” We are proud to be part of a diverse industry that feeds the world.
Farm Bureau – As an organization we are here to help you get through the challenges. We are a grassroots organization that’s committed to serving you, our members. It’s so important that you bring forth issues that you are having in agriculture so we can help. As a grassroots organization, the policies listed in our WFBF Policy Book came from you, the members. If you have an issue and need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or your local Farm Bureau, we are here to help you through the struggles in agriculture.
“Even though there are days I wish I could change some things that happened in the past, there’s a reason the rear-view mirror is so small and the windshield is so big, where you’re headed is much more important than what you’ve left behind.”
Patti is the District 1 Coordinator for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. She grew up on her family’s dairy farm near West Bend and continues to help on the farm. She majored in speech communication at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, graduating in 2010. After obtaining her degree, Patti worked as an Americorps VISTA in Dodge County. Part of her responsibilities included creating sustainable programs for Dodge County 4-H and the afterschool programs in Beaver Dam. Following her year as a VISTA, Patti was programs and communications coordinator at Economic Development Washington County.