I was in the grocery, and there was a woman in line in front of me. She was talking loudly and I realized she was blasting “farmers,” not just dairy farmers but farmers of every kind. She was blaming farmers for the rising cost of food, from dairy to beef to vegetables and fruit.
It turned out she had a lot of things about farmers on her troubled mind, and they were all coming out of her mouth. So I listened while she was commenting on the cost of meat and fruit. She might go broke, she claimed, but “the farmers,” as she referred to them, would never be destitute.
“They make so much on what they sell,” she said, “they are never content or satisfied with what they have.”
Needless to say, this upset me, we have been dairy farmers for more than 30 years. She made me realize once again, and not for the first time, how little people know about where their food comes from or about the people who make and grow and send it to them. They just eat it, and know that when they go to the market, it will be there, they have never had to go hungry or been without healthy food for their dinner table. There are many people in the world who will never know that wonderful gift.
Oh, if she knew just what Ed and I make on the milk we produce.. My Farmer And Me. I kept listening to her, and she kept talking. She said she worked from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m five days a week and not a moment more in order to make enough money for the things she had to buy.
By that time I was fuming, and I realized I had heard enough. I just wanted to make her see the truth about what she was talking about.
So I said “excuse me, let me tell you about My Farmer and Me. Each day we wake at 6 a.m. to milk and feed our 60 or so cows. Their babies are fed and cleaned before we take our breakfast in the house. Every animal on our farm eats before we do, chickens, goats, cows, dogs. Four seasons are spend fighting rain, snow, heat and drought to make sure our animals are healthy and properly cared for beyond any doubt.
We enjoy the smell of newly moved hay or fresh cut corn at night, this life is a privilege we earn through hard work and that is a right we deserve.”
I told her the animals get taken care of on Christmas before gifts are opened and on Easter before eggs are painted and hidden and found. The heart of this farmer is the welfare of the animals on this farm.
And for your information, I added, a year ago we were making $25 or so for 100 lbs of milk. This year the price is down to $16. How would you feel if that happened to your weekly paycheck, which stays the same no matter what the weather or some bureaucrat in Washington thinks. Wouldn’t that give you something to complain about in line?
You can have your five-day work week and be all that you can be.
My Farmer And Me do not complain about our lives, but sometimes we feel the need to explain it and we wish more people understood it. We love the satisfaction of hard work, the thrill of living on a farm, we love the animals in our care, our family works just as hard as we do, seven days a week, they have all of their lives. We love making good and healthy food for people like you, even though you don’t seem to have the grace to understand or appreciate what we do for you and your family.
I wished her a good and healthy life. My farmer and me will work hard every day to see that gets one.
– August 23, 2015, Bejosh Farm, White Creek, N.Y.