Its almost two months since I put fingers to the keyboard for my personal blog. To be honest I have been embarrassed by the discourse between farmers and farmers on social media. I also see a lack of leadership by industry in encouraging respectful conversations between farmers and the community and it saddens me.
‘Great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.’
This post is a special shout out to the team at Bulla Burra for continuously showing great leadership. You can see the full post on Facebook here
Last week I had the pleasure, courtesy of Wingecarribee Shire Council of being on the panel post the showing of the 2040 Film. The film has some confronting things to say about some of our current agricultural systems. Its also uses very inclusive language to invite everyone to work together and use the film as a launch pad for bold visions
This will require respectful conversations between everyone – thank you Bulla Burra for showing us how it is done.
John concludes his letter by saying
The main point of this letter is to say that agriculture is a professional, thriving industry – but we are not very good at talking about it. We tend to live in our own little farming bubble and talk and whinge amongst ourselves. We get frustrated when we see something on “Sunrise” or “The Project” which affects us, and we go off half cocked on FB or Twitter – mainly to people within our own industry. And when we do get to talk to you we are usually being reactive or do a poor job of articulating our argument. We are sorry about that.
From our perspective we also need to do a far better job of listening. You rightly have questions and concerns about what we do, as the results of our efforts ends up feeding and clothing your families. How can you not be rattled by what you see on social media about GMO’s and Roundup, especially if we don’t have meaningful conversations with you about what we do and why. Of course those of you who love animals will be furious (as we are) when you see examples of animal cruelty. And yes, the whole idea of climate change is scary for us all.
Make no mistake, farmers are some of the most intelligent, educated, climatically aware, hardworking people on the planet – and focused on developing new, innovative and environmentally sustainable ways to continue to feed, clothe and fuel us all. As farmers, we don’t always get to have meaningful conversations with people outside of own agricultural bubble, so please feel free to pass this letter on to your friends both within and outside of ag. It is only by listening to each other that we create understanding, empathy and stronger communities.
Success is a journey and the Pygmalion Effect is a powerful motivator