This past weekend has been a blast for me. I got to travel with some great Young Farmer and Rancher buddies from all across the great state of TN. To spend time meeting new friends from all over the nation. The goal learning to be better advocates for agriculture. It still blows my mind that we need advocates for agriculture, but then I go and hang out with my physician type highly educated friends and realize very much why we do what we do for Agriculture. The average American is 3 generations removed from the farm and relies heavily on mainstream media to get their information on what a farm is and does. I don’t know about you but I think that makes as much sense as letting a bunch of lawyers reform our health care system as to continue to let Katie Couric be an educated source about agriculture.
Did you as know that in Congress there are only 12 elected officials that have spent at least six months on a working farm or ranch? And did you know that of those 12, 2 are retiring? The average Congress official and staffer need to hear from us about why the laws that they pass may not make sense in the real world.
We learned this weekend to take advantage of social media to promote what we do and to be better prepared to advocate for our industry. Yes we are a generation of farmers but that does not mean we are uneducated as is often perceived. I for example have a medical degree and a fellowship and believe me you do not want to watch me drive the tractor, let alone try to plow or bale hay with it. My Husband keeps up with birth weights for our cattle, breeding times and bloodlines, when fertilizer is applied and how much too apply, and that are just a few of the many health and environmental concerns that are his daily facts of life. Each aspect of production agriculture is just as technical anymore, but at the heart we are still the people who love our land. But I also know that the average educated MBA could not even figure out how to get a combine to start, let alone function for hours on end to get crops in.
I want to continue this way of life that I and my husband love, so we will continue to miss ball games and plays for Farm Bureau functions and medical conferences. I hope that somewhere out there in America there still is an America that cares about who we are and what we do. Cause I know how devoted we both are to agriculture and all I can ever remember wanting to be is a doctor. Now I see threats to both every day.
I’ve wanted to work as a doctor in my home town my whole life. But now due to health care issues in DC, I am facing severe economic difficulties with that choice. And its not just me its doctors everywhere dealing with cutbacks from Medicare and Medicaid programs while insurance companies and the center for Medicare wants more and more quality control. Its kinda like how I feel when I ride the tea cup rides with my two girls and we keep spinning around faster and faster, except here lately my life does not seem to stop. Remember that for the most part your doctor wants to keep you healthy and if they are like me they agree that we need health care reform. However, I refuse to believe what the President has proposed will help this country.
Every day I worry, and now most days I write. Change needs to come soon, or I fear there will be no one left who cares if changes occur…