Many of us have heard about or maybe read Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” The book reminds us to share everything, play fair, don’t hit people, put things back where you found them, clean up your own mess, don’t take things that aren’t yours, say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody, wash your hands before you eat, flush, warm cookies and cold milk are good for you, live a balanced life-learn some and think some, draw and paint, sing and dance, play and work some, take a nap every afternoon, when you go out into the world - watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together and be aware of wonder.
Farmers and ranchers will continue to face many challenges. Our challenges will include federal regulations that go beyond the scope of the law, taxes that threaten the future of family-based farming and extremists who oppose modern farms and ranches of every type.
If there was ever a time for Farm Bureau members to remember what we learned in kindergarten the time is now, no matter who you are in agriculture or how you describe your farm or ranch it is best to watch out for each other, hold hands and stick together.
Minnesota is the sixth largest agricultural producer in the United States. We rank first in sugarbeets, turkey, sweet corn and green peas for processing. We are second nationally in spring wheat, oats, canola, cultivated wild rice and dry edible beans. Minnesota is ranked third in hog and soybean production. We are fourth in corn, sunflowers and flaxseed; fifth in total cheese, mink pelts and honey and sixth in dairy, red meat and barley. Minnesota ranks seventh in all wheat, potatoes and total ag exports; eighth nationally in all livestock production and tenth in cattle and calves.
What does this mean? The bottom line is very simple. Crops and livestock are equally important to our state’s agriculture. They complement each other and are interdependent, making Minnesota agriculture diverse and well-balanced.
Farm Bureau members must remember that no matter what you produce or where you rank on the list, it is best to watch out for each other, hold hands and stick together.
Minnesota is a leader and is in the top five for the production of organic soybeans, corn, dried beans, buckwheat and small grains. No matter what route you have chosen for your farm or ranch, whether it is conventional, organic or locally grown – all of agriculture must stand together. We will see a dramatic demand for organics and local foods in the future.
Farm Bureau members must remember that no matter how you produce your products or what size you are, it is best to watch out for each other, hold hands and stick together.
Sustainable farming and ranching mean different things to different people. The definition is a moving target, one that allows for innovation and advances in science and technology. A sustainable standard must give farmers and ranchers the flexibility we need to be productive, profitable and competitive. Farm Bureau members must remember to watch out for each other, hold hands and stick together.
Minnesota agriculture is a big tent, and it takes all types of farmers and ranchers to provide the abundant, safe and affordable food we need to feed ourselves and a growing world population. We cannot let ourselves, critics or activists of our great agriculture production system - drive a wedge between us.
Farm Bureau members must watch out for each other, hold hands and stick together.