Monday, December 4, 2017

Old Friends and Agriculture

I'm writing this from the porch of our hotel room at the historic Jekyll Island Club. If you've never been, I would highly recommend it. It is both beautifully maintained and rich with historical significance. 
Julie and I get to come here almost every year as we participate in the Georgia Farm Bureau Conference. Several years ago we served as Chair of the state young farmer committee. Through that experience we met lots of farmers from all around the state. Very few of them farm the way we do, but we all share some similar challenges and struggles.  It's nice to be able to reconnect with some of these old friends that we typically only see here at this convention. Did you miss that earlier part. Yes, some of my friends and I disagree on some aspects of how we farm, but we respect each other enough that we can still be friends and work toward solutions that will benefit the whole. That is a message that needs to be incorporated into our political system. That's all I'll say about that. 
This convention is more than meeting up with old friends. We draft policy that will dictate the direction Georgia Farm Bureau will lobby for the upcoming year. As an "alternative" farmer, I feel like it is even more important for me to be here. We need a seat at this table when the discussion takes place. Last night at dinner I had one conversation with the President of the American Farm Bureau (who remembered my children's names by the way), and another conversation with Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black. It's nice to know that I can call these folks friends. If we ever had a concern or problem, I feel like they both would answer the phone and hear what I had to say. That's really all I could ask for.