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  1. maggienutter says

    Carrie, You have been a blessing and a encouragement to me since I first started reading your post. From RumChata to being mean to our cows, i love your stories. The ups and downs of ranching/farming is hard enough without all the pressure from the outside world who always knows better and implys that they have higher ethical standards and morals. I want to just say thank you. I hope you take a deep breath, shake it off and continue on. For each offended there are us cheering you on and struggling the same journey.

  2. Wolfyhound says

    I understand a lot when you say you feel burned out on agvocity. I was extremely active with the rights of pet owners and I worked my tail off in every way that I could and every time, it would turn out the people nodding in agreement would stab us in the back when it came time to vote. I got so worn down that I eventually just lost heart. Some times it really is time to step back and take a few deep breaths and focus on all the positive and try to find a new approach. Then you have the internet which apparently makes every couch potato an instant expert because they watched a youtube video once. It gets tiring. Hang in there and enjoy the trips that are upcoming.

  3. bongoangola says

    Thanks for the thoughts. Yes people are angry, and the anonymity and ubiquity of the web gives them instant and almost unlimited voice. It’s a sad part of this medium that allows us to stay connected.

    I have appreciated staying in touch with you and am continuously impressed by the care and thoughtfulness with which you handle your girls. They are fortunate to have such a caring and proactive herdsman like yourself.

  4. Joni says

    I love your blog! I hope you never stop writing it, but if you do, I understand. Its very tiring to have to defend your way of life and your opinions all the time. Sometimes you just want to do your job and have everyone leave you alone for a minute! I get it. On the other hand, I follow a lot of these too, from all sides, even vegans!, and you are very good at getting to the point of the matter without bashing anyone. You are always thoughtful, intelligent and fair, and I think most of your readers get that. I believe there is room for everyone, I sincerely hope we can figure out how to get along a little better. Thank you!

  5. Jodi DeHate says

    Carrie, moving forward, how do those in ag support each other better? I hate the bashing and tried a lot harder to not do that. I wish people would stick to the positives of their productions methods and not have to knock down the other side’s of the issue, but it can be a fine line. How do agvocates stay away from these traps?

  6. maryvwh says

    Hey Carrie – I appreciate you taking the time and energy to write your blog. I know it is easier said than done but when you are getting down with all the negativity close your eyes for a second and envision us “silent majority” folks out here who are just reading for knowledge, insight, yes and to be entertained too – IOW envision the smiles that you are putting on faces (and not just the frowns).

  7. Sue Van de Pol says

    Please , please ,please don’t stop reaching out through your blog!! You give encouragement to those of us in the industry and help educate those that are not to the realities of what we do. Thanks for being a spokesperson for many of us!

  8. Jerry L. Foster says

    Take a break. You’ll get the urge back. Constantly being in the fight wears you down. You have to let somebody else carry it for a while. There are a lot of us out here to share the burden and someone will step up. If no one steps up, that isn’t on you. It may be a sign that there aren’t enough people that care to make it work. You have done good work the last five years. If you hadn’t, the animal rights fascists and the green wienies would be so up set about the things your post.

  9. "American Barn Stories and Other Tales From the Heartlands" says

    What a screwed up mess our World is in these days. And in the midst of it all there are the valuable voices like yours that help us and add insights along the way. Keep on, Carrie — don’t let the self-serving know-nothings bring you down — and I still want to get you guys on camera somewhere along the “American Barn Stories” road. All the best — Tom Laughlin

  10. Fiona Lake says

    Carrie I’ve been ‘agvocating’ since the mid 1980s. I started with postcards, then exhibitions, then a website and blog (2003) then finally started publishing the books I wanted to produce for years, in 2005; & now also run workshops. Because of the comments I used to get via my website, I’ve always had the ‘comments’ facility turned off on my blog. For me, that was a survival strategy. Life’s too short to listen to people who have their own ears shut; and avoiding the unproductive rock throwers means I have enough energy for the people who genuinely want a discussion. A plethora of photographers have sprung up behind me; but to my dismay, many don’t seem to have the heart and soul in selflessly promoting the bush – instead it’s really about promoting themselves. There’s a lot of loose cannons now, in the rural photographic world (in it for an ego trip). I can relate to having ideas etc ripped off. Jealousy is at the heart of most problems. What you’re describing isn’t new – age-old human nature. What you need to do, every now and then, is pull back a little, to keep your energy and enthusiasm intact. I’ve seen more people burn out on social media than I could shake a stick at. Verandah sitters have no idea how much time & energy goes into producing online agvocacy content (let alone dealing with the critics). Good job sticking with it for 5 years, and I hope you continue to. Just remember it’s ok to evolve – you can tweak what you do and how you do it, and take time out when it suits you, to maintain your energy levels. (Personally, I get a skip in my step every time I unfollow a ranter on twitter – including the farm ranters; who as you say, are doing a lot of harm. ‘Tell it to the hand’ is remarkably satisfying.)

  11. farmerbright says

    Carrie, you have been more than just a mere agvocate, you have been a force of nature. You ruffled feathers and drew the ire of the haters, but like the kid in Oh, The Places You’ll Go, you have moved mountains in five years. The people that have given dairy, and other agriculture practices, a second look with common sense this time, are many because of your efforts.

    That said, you don’t have to be a hero, a leader, or anything. You have to be Carrie. So be the best Carrie. Plow old grounds with new flowers. Plow new grounds with new flowers. We’ll support you whatever rode you take.

  12. Marianne Friers says

    You have done a fantastic job with this blog, with your pages, with your talks. I have always admired your efforts and quoted you on more than one occasion. I hope you can wade through the negatives and continue to enjoy the positives you have found. Meanwhile congratulations on making it five years in a difficult position doing a really hard job for folks who aren’t always able to see it.

  13. The Ranchy Ruby says

    Thank you for what you do Carrie! While I would totally understand if you decided to step out (agvocating burnout is real), I would really miss your blog. I have learned so much about the dairy industry from you and you are a shining example of “real” advocacy for the agriculture industry. God Bless! -Laney

  14. Tplanders says

    Please keep blogging! I appreciate your thoughtful reflections! You always offer me great insight and perspective…thanks!

  15. bharshaw says

    Look on the bright side–at least you’re being read and having an impact. 🙂 There are many bloggers who aren’t and don’t.

  16. farmertommee says

    It has been a pleasure to follow you and your agvocacy. You are an inspiration to many of us as we try to agvocate for our way of life. Keep up the good work(as frustrating as it is at times!).

  17. Greg Soon says

    Hello, I just found your blog after doing a Google search on Fairlife milk. I am in NYC and have enjoyed reading several of your articles today. Just want to say thank you for sounding very objective and not spouting some political agenda.

  18. gretchen maine says

    Dear Carrie,

    I have been reading your blog for awhile now and want to say “you go girl”! as a member of Pro Ag and the National Family Farm Coalition i have also been beating my head trying to work towards higher milk prices. Sometimes it is so frustrating when people really don’t give a crap, but then someone will say thank you for what you do and it gives me the gumption to keep it up when sometimes I really feel like throwing in the towel. So, I am saying thank you for what you do. Take a breath and then go back at it.

    gretchen maine
    waterville, ny

  19. Barb Foulke says

    I have been reading your post for about 2 years and really enjoy it. We have a nut production farm and are up against much of the same resistance and frustrations that you express. I hope you continue as your writing is a breath of fresh air to many farmers! Barb

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