I’m at my nephews birthday party, feeling all kinds of uncomfortable, because it’s people around me and not cattle. The kids are running rampant, hyped up on blue frosting, playing with Lego pieces which I’m certain will end up in my sister’s feet at some point in the night. I smile at that thought – because it isn’t me, or my feet. And then I hear someone talking, to me…
“How’s farming going?”
It’s a generic question right, I’m mean I’m sure he isn’t anticipating my loaded response. But what should I say. Words like hard, difficult, exhausting don’t cut it anymore. He’s a consumer, right, so he might not understand when my sarcasm comes through and I explain, well, uhh, you see, we’re on the fucking titanic and I’m not in a life boat. Why isn’t my husband here, he’s better at these questions, he’s not so e-motion-al. Emotions, hormones, all these freaking feelings that life shouldn’t be this hard. I mean I can’t afford to be in business, can’t afford to sell my business, can’t understand why for all these freaking years I’ve put time and energy into
Me: “Oh, it’s hard and a little difficult. But wow, your kids – right!? They are so big…”
It’s a generic question, better off talking about something else.
But why? Why do I feel that I shouldn’t burden the weight of my problems on people? And I’m not talking about my personal problems. The biggest issue with the current dairy industry, is that at this point if a farm goes out – it’s not because they are a BAD farmer. If any one of my neighbors calls it “enough” it’s because they were given no other option, and that, is probably the conversation we should have had. I’m not looking for pity. I’m not expecting my customers to purchase dairy beyond their means. Maybe, what I’m asking is that the public see some people haven’t had their wages cut, and some companies are still accepting new farms, and yet… here we float, paying for our excess milk production, going broke, and losing our ambition.
So, don’t talk about something else. Talk about our industry, whenever you get the chance. Something has got to change, or there won’t be any of us left.