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  • About this Farmer

    I'm a central Utah dairy farmer, a father, husband and that's about all there's time for. My farm has been in my family for 5 generations, and I am proud to continue the tradition. This newfangled thing called Twitter has opened up a whole new world to me and I am excited to share that with you. This blog is my story, but will also be the stories of other farmers all over the country.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

I made my mind up this week that I was going to do a blog post. I kicked a few ideas around, but kept coming up short. As I set out on my morning routine, I listened to a local radio station to catch up on the news that I had missed while I was out of town last week. As always, around the same time every Monday, cowboy legend “Baxter Black” came on to do his segment. I get a kick out of his light hearted wisdom. He has a way of getting his point across without beating you over the head with it. I am blessed to know a few cowboys like that!

I don’t usually like to just repost someone else’s work but after you read what he had to say about Thanksgiving, I think you’ll understand why I thought it just fit the situation perfectly!

Baxter Black: Thanksgiving thoughts

Baxter Black, DVM

Monday, November 19, 2012

“Not everyone has a car, owns a home, carries a cell phone, can swim, knows the 18th president and can hum “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain.”

But everyone in this country — rich or homeless, conservative, liberal, gray, green, black, white, brown or yellow — eats what we in agriculture produce; everyone, no exceptions.

Do those of you who farm and ranch think about the lives you touch? Steve Jobs invented Apple computers, Oprah Winfrey had a talk show that reached 7.4 million people five days a week, J.K. Rowling sold 450 million Harry

Potter books, and 111 million watched Superbowl XLV. Talk about reaching out.

But every day, every person eats something you produce. Your contribution to their wellbeing exceeds Hollywood, the Nobel Prize or their psychiatrist. The public’s dependence on your ability to keep them fed is deeper than their

need to text, jog, work, play golf or go to school.

You are more essential to their lives than their bookie, their broker, their drug dealer, their teacher, their boss or even their best friend.

This week we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s still a real holiday — you can tell because most of the work force gets the day off. I think of it as a time when we thank God for the blessings we have been given. Usually the

Thanksgiving table is covered with food — food that we in agriculture produced.

Even the needy in soup kitchens, home-alone bachelors, single mothers, on-duty soldiers and orbiting astronauts will eat something we grew; a piece of ham, canned peas, a drumstick, a Happy Meal or pumpkin pie.

Regardless of what is on their plate, it started in some farmer’s pasture or plowed field.

I don’t mean to be boastful. I don’t even expect the average urban Thanksgiving diner to remember the farmer’s contribution to their day. Many praises will fall upon the one who cooked the meal.

That is due, but without mentioning the farmers who grow it is like praising the painter of the bridge while the man who designed and constructed it, stands in the shadows.

It is common to hear that farming is a “noble calling.” That is flattering but its importance is much more profound. I agree that what we who work the land do is noble, but more, it is as vital to their lives as air and water.

What they eat is the gift of our labors, and somewhere down deep as they sit down to Thanksgiving dinner Thursday, they might conjure up a picture of a farmer leaning on a hoe or a cowboy on a horse. That thought might just

be the connection that helps them understand where their food comes from: real people.”

 

I honestly couldn’t have said it better myself so I let the great Baxter Black say it for me. Have a very happy Thanksgiving y’all and take just a second when your looking at all that delicious food on your table to think about the many farmers that helped make that meal possible.

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November 21, 2012 - 8:27 am

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First Snow

Today was the first snow on the farm. I love this time of year, for so many reasons!

 

First off I really love the snow. Especially the first snowfall of the year! It’s like a fresh start. It makes everything seem so fresh and so clean. Now of course I live on a farm so that clean feeling only lasts for a short time before everyone starts driving around and it quickly turns to mud, but it’s really quite enjoyable while it lasts!! I love looking out and seeing glistening white crystals as far as the eye can see.

 

Secondly it means that its time to slow down a little bit. Now don’t get me wrong, we still work from dawn till dusk most days, but it get’s dark significantly earlier. The fields are too wet or frozen to work which means we only have the dairy responsibilities to take care of. There are lots of odd jobs to catch up on, but nothing so pressing that we are putting in those 18 hour days, which have seemed all to common lately.  It really is a nice little treat to get to spend just a little more time with our families and not feel guilty about coming home early.

 

Being a Farmer here in Utah I also depend on the Winter snowpack for a lot of my summer irrigating needs. While a lot of Utahans are complaining about driving in the snow and how cold it gets, I am basking in the moisture that it brings. Utah’s slogan is “The best snow on Earth” but people sure seem to complain a lot about it when it comes. Perhaps if more people realized what a vital part the snow plays in Utah’s economy they wouldn’t whine so much when we actually get some.

 

Another reason I love the first snow so much is because I get to see how excited my little kids get when they wake up and see that blanket of white fluffy stuff outside. They were outside playing in the snow today before I even got to work.  I only wish us “grown-ups” could still find such joy in the simple things in life!  We all could learn a little something from watching how our little ones go through the younger years of their lives!

 

 

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Hello again

Ok so I know its been awhile…a long while in fact! I got way to busy and thus neglected my blog. Sorry y’all and I promise to try and never let that happen again.

Now that the harvest is done and life is getting back to a slower more manageable pace, its time to kick this and all things social media back into high gear! I’m going to really try and keep up on this blog but in the mean time jump on over to Twitter and follow @trentbown then hop over to Facebook and give my Bown Dairy Page a like! (ok no more shameless plugs)

Social media has been very kind to me. In the coming month I’m headed to the National Milk Producers Federation conference in Orlando, the #FoodD Dialogues in New York City, then to Syracuse to give a presentation on  Social Media at the American Dairy Associations annual meeting.

All of this is happening because I was brave enough to hop on twitter one day and show myself around. I was lucky enough to stumble across the AgChat hashtag when I was venting one day then it’s pretty much been a whirlwind since then. I went to there training conference in 2011, met some great people there who encouraged me to keep exploring. I’ve made great friends, whom I’ve met in real life and others who I’m just as close with as people I know in person. If you want to see just what I’m talking about follow the #UsGuys hashtag on twitter for awhile. Engage with these good people and you’ll soon have a digital tribe of people that you are very proud to say you know and call your friends!

I was urged to start writing again by one of these great people that I met at the AgChat 2011 conference Janice Person @JPlovesCOTTON I have had the opportunity to talk with her on the phone as well as in person and she is a magnificent, upbeat, just all around good person.  When she heard that I was going to attend the Food Dialogues she urged me to blog about it and raise some interest and awareness about it. I followed along last year via twitter and have watched most of the different panel discussions. It is a great mix of pop culture, food, and all about having an open dialogue between food producers and food consumers (which would be every single one of you)! It is a great opportunity to engage with the people that grow your food all the way up to the people that you see cooking that food on television! We in the Agriculture community owe it to ourselves and our next generation to take every opportunity to engage and have an open dialogue with our consumers.

Our consumers are more directly affected by what they see on T.V. now more than ever. Food is becoming a hot topic again. Field to fork is under more scrutiny now more than ever. We need to take every chance we can to tell our stories and show people how much we care about the land and animals we have been blessed enough to be trusted with.

Over the past few years I’ve learned that if you speak up people will listen! Don’t miss an opportunity to let your voice be heard and tell your story.

YOU are the only person that can tell your own story the way you want it to be told.

Join in every chance you get.

The only bad opportunity is the one you don’t take!

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