Farmers are Farmers…


I am writing this post while looking out the windows of a conference room and watching Deauville, France get it’s Monday morning started.

It’s not too shabby of a way to get my own Monday morning started, even if my body still hasn’t figured out what time or day it is.

I am in Deauville, a beach town near Caen, to once again be a part of the Alltech Global 500 Dairy and Beef meetings. The last 3 times I have been part of Alltech events, they have been in beautiful Lexington, Kentucky. While all Alltech events have participants from around the globe and have opened my eyes to a more global picture of the agriculture industry, I must say that this trip has changed my life.

Ok, so this was from last night, not this morning but let's not be too picky.

Ok, so this was from last night, not this morning but let’s not be too picky.

For the first time in my life I am in a place where English isn’t the native language. I am struggling to recall the French I learned 20 years ago when I was in middle school. So far I can count to ten, say hello, thank you and I can excitedly say “Vache, Norman!” each time I see my favorite breed of cow grazing the fields around us. Hubs (yes, he is here too) is getting sick of that phrase. I am out of my normal element, I am out of my normal day to day life and I highly suggest that if you have the opportunity to do the same some time you take it.

While I could go into the technical science of increasing sustainability, traceability and availability of beef and dairy on a global scale, as I am learning about while at this conference, my brain keeps coming back to one sentence. Dr. Pearse Lyons, the President and Founder of Alltech said a few simple words yesterday morning during his opening remarks to the group of 700+ farmers and ag professionals from 43 different countries assembled in front of him, that united a room of strangers.

“No matter where they are in the world, farmers are farmers.”

Of course the farmers down the road from us that milk organic jersey cows, grow organic produce and make the best tortillas I have ever had, are farmers just like Hubs and I, even if we don’t farm the same way.

Of course the people raising milo, cotton, sugar cane or a crop that we couldn’t even begin to grow in Wisconsin are also farmers just like us.

But what about the people who milk 50 cows in France? They don’t speak my language. The entire dairy system in France is set up very differently than the US system. They are farmers but…surely our differences mean their concerns and worries are different than ours?

Last night Hubs and I sat at a table of French dairy farmers for a dinner and discussion focused on how we could improve the reproductive abilities of our cows. Half of our table didn’t speak English, all of our conversation was translated by two of the farmers that knew English. Despite the language differences, despite the different production methods, despite the different products and services we have available on our farms, the conversation revealed the truth, we all had similar struggles.

Farmers are farmers. Across the road or across the globe, we are connected.



10 Comments on Farmers are Farmers…

  1. carolyncares
    September 1, 2014 at 10:15 am (5 years ago)

    Love this!

  2. NebraskaWheatie
    September 1, 2014 at 10:19 am (5 years ago)

    Take the time and go to Omaha Beach while you’re there. That will also change your life! Jealous that you’re there. How sweet is that!! Have a great time!

  3. Jennifer
    September 1, 2014 at 6:04 pm (5 years ago)

    This is how I feel at the agchat conferences. So many types and scales of production of a variety of crops and livestock and yet the people are really not much different. Sure you have different personalities but the mentalities with respect to farming, as a livelihood, are very similar. Can’t wait to hear more about what you’re learning! Hope you’re all having a blast!

  4. Jana Reynolds
    September 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm (5 years ago)

    I enjoy listening to Dr. Lyons speak and he always gets me to think and look at things in a new perspective.

  5. Jackie theriot
    September 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm (5 years ago)

    Was there only 3 weeks ago and enjoyed the wine, baguettes, cheese[camembert], and crystal butter. French was not a problem as I am from Cajun country. Retired sugarcane farmer

  6. Lauren Schlothauer
    September 5, 2014 at 9:51 am (5 years ago)

    I love your post and this whole blog:)! Hey there my names Lauren Schlothauer and I just started an agricultural blog called confessions of a suburbanite agvocate and I’d be so excited if you’d visit or even follow it:):)! The website is 🙂 thanks:)

  7. Lauren Barker
    September 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm (5 years ago)

    This is so neat! I have always wanted to go out of the USA to see agriculture practices in other countries but whenever I think about it I think of it kind of like a whole different world. You bring up a great point that I think is easy to forget, we are all in this together and we are all farmers.

  8. samijohnson
    September 25, 2014 at 9:22 am (5 years ago)

    I think that often times we consider farmers on a local scale, this was a great blog reminding us that we are farmers on a global scale. We feed the world, they feed the world, we are all farmers. No matter the lamguage, or location we all have the same goal. Great perspective!

  9. Lynn
    September 25, 2014 at 11:56 am (5 years ago)

    I really love this! Farmers will always be farmers wherever in the world they may be. I think we often forgot that and sometimes are narrow minded on exactly our specific part of agriculture. But it’s so cool to be able to discuss your passion with someone who doesn’t even understand your language, but you can still make it work and maybe even learn something new from that. How cool it is to remember that just like you said “Farmers are farmers.” 🙂

  10. Maddie Rose
    September 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm (5 years ago)

    I absolutely love this post! I have followed you on Facebook for several months now but when the scholarship program I am participating in, College Aggies Online, told us to follow three bloggers and then post a comment on at least one of their posts, I specifically came looking for this post. I remember reading it when you first posted it a few weeks ago, and even though I only work on a farm as a student and will probably never own a production farm of my own, this post inspired and encouraged me. I think that not only are farmers connected around the world, but so are AGvocates and lovers of agriculture in general! Even though we may all have different ideas and different ways of doing things, we are connected by our love of an industry that means so much to us! Thank you for your blog and for keeping it real, Dairy Carrie!