Tag Archives: farmer

Wordless Wednesday: Dissenters

Photo by Karen Laslo

Photo by Karen Laslo

My face when my Congressman and fellow farmer says climate change isn’t real.


Filed under Ag, agriculture, Field Trip, Know a California Farmer, Media, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday

Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media, recognizing the people and organizations producing real-time short form content on across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Foursquare, and the rest of the social Web.”


Oh, the Carly Simon song “You’re So Vain” is playing in my head right now. But I can’t help but notice the Shorty Award’s Food category doesn’t have a lot of multi-generational Cattle Ranchers nominated. Want to change that? I do! I can’t help it, but I DO! Here we have yet another, shameless attempt to promote myself. It’s hard!!!! I’m doing it anyway (I might have had a glass of wine in order to write this post, maybe, probably, maybe). Anyway vote for ME! http://shortyawards.com/MegRaeB


Filed under Ag, food, Humor, Rants, Uncategorized

“Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears”

… and your knowledge, experience and points of view! As part of my “ag-vocating” efforts I like to make agricultural information available to my friends, family and consumers. I feel like providing that information and letting people learn on their own, is far more effective than talking at someone. You know the whole “give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime” thing.

Farmers and Ranchers, I need your help! I need you! What I would like to do here is have a master-list, if you will. A list of Farmers and Ranchers in production ag that our non-aggie friends can have access to so they can ask us questions. Yes, yes, I know agchat and several other bloggers have already done this – but in my humble little opinion we can never have too many good ag sources.

If you have ties to agriculture – whether it be production ag, an ag salesperson, a truck driver, a chef, a butcher – whatever! Please leave a comment below with your name, a little about you and your area of expertise and a way we can contact you – an e-mail address, twitter handle, Skype, facebook, blog or website. When I have a nice list I’m going to organize them and post it as a blog for your average person to use – let’s connect our farmers and ranchers and some consumers!

This is an example of what I am looking for:

Meg Brown – An 6th generation commercial cattle rancher. Ask me about the cattle industry! Lurk me on twitter – MegRaeB, e-mail – MegRBrown@gmail.com or my blog thebeefjar.com.

Thank you in advance everyone!


Filed under Ag, food

Armchair Farmers

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” – Dwight D Eisenhower

My Great Grandfather, Great Aunt, Great Uncle and Grandfather – on one of the same ranches we have now.

I just love that quote from President Eisenhower, and I agree! Farming does look pretty easy when you are an “armchair farmer”. We live in a country where less than 2 percent of our population works in production agriculture. This has created a disconnect for most consumers. For most of us, a simple trip to the grocery store provides us with everything we need. Most of us have no reason or need to question our abundant, affordable and safe food supply.

However, this disconnect is having repercussions. For some consumers, agriculture has turned into a negative. They think farmers and ranchers are hiding from the consumers for various reasons. They think we do horrible things to our land and animals just to get rich. And instead of seeking farmers and ranchers out, to learn from us, or ask us questions – they just accuse, attack and harass us.

I do my best to “open my barn door”, that is I attempt to let my friends know, if they have questions about agriculture I am here for them. I offer tours of my Ranch, introductions to other farmers and ranchers, I’ll even find you (what I consider) relevant and good research about an ag topic. I absolutely love it when I have friends that take advantage of my resources.

My Dad keeping an eye on me as I brand bulls.

My outreach becomes a problem for me, at times. Agriculture is more than a passion for me. It’s my life. I eat, breathe, sleep and live ag. The best way I can explain it to people is it is like a very devout religion. My family has been agriculture for as long as I can trace it back (I made it back to the 1500’s). I have always lived on a ranch. I have always worked in production ag. My formal education is in agriculture. My first memories are of agriculture. I will probably die on a ranch. To say ag is personal to me, is a slight understatement.

When I hear someone say “we should have our farmers backs” I usually love it! But more and more this sentiment comes from “armchair farmers” – people whose ag knowledge came from books, movies and youtube videos. And while I appreciate the sentiment, these people often have no clue what they are talking about. To them, ag is simple. Ag is black and white, good guy versus bad. They’ve never farmed, ranched or really ever spoken to a commercial farmer or rancher.

Often these armchair farmers insinuate real farmers and ranchers are dumb. That farmers and ranchers need urban people to “have our backs” simply because they think stereotypes from the media are true – that we are “simple folk” Yes, there are those of us (farmers and ranchers) that are not worldly or tech savvy, but I guarantee if you sit down and ask them about their crops or animals they can teach you more than any TV show or article. My Dad is the perfect example of that. He can’t really operate a computer, he’s been out of the country once, he didn’t go to college, but that man has a beautiful, healthy, productive, happy cow herd and would blow any non-aggie’s mind with his knowledge.

These armchair farmers tend to discredit my opinion (an opinion of a real rancher that produces the food you buy) because I don’t say what they think I should. I don’t believe organic is our savior (all type of ag has its place), I don’t believe Monsanto is the devil out to destroy me, I don’t believe “modern ag” is evil. Having an armchair farmer “educate” me about my industry is like having someone not of my religion educate me about how I should practice my faith.

My Dad keeping an eye on me as I build corrals

I’m all about different opinions. I’ve learned a lot from people who don’t agree with me. It’s actually one of my favorite methods to learn – hell I went to law school (I dropped out – but it was my choice – I didn’t flunk out!)! Everyone is entitled to an opinion, which is what makes this country great. But at some point I have to draw a line, for my sanity. When a city person starts talking at me, “educating” me about agriculture, lecturing me on how I should run my ranch – I shut down and walk away. I’m not going to apologize for that. It’s one thing to have an educated conversation or discussion about my way of life with someone that has knowledge or experience that can contribute information, or has genuine questions. But it’s a totally different animal when someone with no ag education, experience or understanding acts like I am simple, country folk that needs to be protected from myself.

If you really want to “have our backs”, listen to us, talk to us – not at us. Ask us about our ag practices and why we choose those methods over others. Don’t put words in our mouths, or infer we are dumb. Don’t push for more legislation for us, more hoops for us to jump through to produce our food and fiber. Realize that our opinions about agriculture were formed from hands on experience, education, hard work and sometimes generations of family before us, – not the media, youtube and or food writers.


Filed under Ag, agriculture, food, Ranch life, Rants, Uncategorized