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My Connection to Agriculture

As The Tech Chef I whip up social media recipes (development) for groups like American Agri-Women and Oregon Women for Ag. I do these pages as volunteer work because I feel a deep connection to Agriculture. I think as our society becomes increasingly urban keeping that connection to agriculture is more and more important. Although my “day job” is in education and my “side job” is in web and social media development I work yet another  job on the farm during most summers.

On both sides of my family my Grandparents farmed and came from farm & ranch families. My parents grew-up farming alongside their parents helping to bring in the crops and garden goods that kept the family fed and paid for their livelihood. Although my parents ended up working in the city we kids still spent summers on the family farm. Eventually we worked summers as crew for the 1,000 + acre grass seed farm my grandparents and uncle operate in the Mid Willamette Valley, Oregon.

In my combine harvesting grass seed.

Even though we ended up living in the suburbs of Albuquerque, New Mexico, my family always grew most of our own fruits and vegetables. As kids we were responsible for weeding the vegetable garden. I helped plant, pick, and preserve the produce. I even helped my parents make wine from the small vineyard in our backyard.

This grounded me in a connection to my food and to agriculture. Knowing where you food comes from and what work it took to produce changes your worldview. Like Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs is fond of saying “Brown before Green.” You have to have a connection to the soil before you can “Go Green.”

I think a connection to agriculture is even more than that. Farming is the first job given to mankind by God (see Genesis 1 & 3.) With that in mind, farming also keeps me connected to my Creator. There are some moments when you are out in the field where the majesty of the land cries out. I can’t share the moments with you of the rain falling in crystal drops on a clear sunny day. Or the sun setting over the field you just harvested while you empty the last load into the truck. Or coming in covered head to toe with dust. Or the simple satisfaction of finishing the job.

Sure there are times where you are tired or sore or frustrated. That’s part of any job. Yet jobs in agriculture (including farming, fishing, and forestry) allow us to connect with our world in a way the office, the computer, the pavement never can. The majesty of nature is part of their job everyday.

As a proud Agri-Women I do my part to educate those who have lost their connection to the soil, to encourage those who work with it, and to unite agriculture. I believe I am following my “Call to Power” as put forth by Sister Thomas More Bertels for American Agri-Women.

“History will be kinder to us if our capacity to effect change is implemented in the right way and for the right reasons. Our dedication to truth and our identification with the institutions that foster justice and goodwill provide our rod and staff in the struggle to put away untruth and injustice. When the responsibility for change falls to only a few, the resulting sense of powerlessness is dehumanizing.”

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