Part-time stay-at-home mom, part-time professional, full-time coffee lover. Sorority alumna, retired cheerleading coach, and now mom to twin two-year-old toddlers, Angie lost her whisper voice a long time ago, never to be found again. Unabashedly loud and annoyingly fond of structure, a type-A life is the only one she’s ever known. She lives in Waukesha with her patient and hilarious husband Tom. Other true loves include good whiskey, quiet yoga practice and shows worth bingeing on. You can find her on Instagram at @angnik26.
I first “met” Carrie in the late 2000’s when Twitter really took off and we both immersed ourselves in the conversation. Aside from a love for social media, on paper, there probably wasn’t a long list of similarities between us. Carrie raises hundreds of cows on her family farm and I basically buy a monthly basil plant with high (and naive) hopes of keeping it alive. Since then, we’ve both added husbands and a couple of kids to the mix.
I’m still pretty far away from life as a Farmer, but motherhood has unearthed a number of incredible similarities between Carrie and I. Turns out, no matter where you head off to work, the same issues and concerns plague us all. Who’s going to watch my kids? Who is going to clean this house? If I laugh when my kid drops an f-bomb am I doomed for a life of detention and notes from the teacher?
Of all of the incredible and hilarious conversations Carrie and I have exchanged, I am most thankful to have a trusted friend and farmer help me better understand her world and the challenges, successes, and misconceptions within it.
When Carrie asked me what moms like me really want to know about farmers and farming, I realized how lucky I am to be a few taps of my thumb away from hearing the story straight from the horse’s, er, farmer’s mouth. That sweet channel that brought us together circa 2008 has also helped fuel a lot of misinformation about where our food comes from and the people who work day in and day out to get it to us. I was elated to play even a small part in Carrie’s story and the education and advocacy she’s doing for the industry.
So, Carrie, here’s what I, as a mom of two toddlers, want to know from you, my local farmer (and fellow mom to two toddlers).
When I think of farms, there are two pictures that immediately come to mind. The idyllic family farm on the corner with a few acres, few cows and few rows of corn providing food for the family and maybe a small roadside stand. Then there’s the huge, “factory-farm” churning out animals and product in mass quantities. I imagine most farms are somewhere in between. What do the majority of farms really look like?
Food labels have gotten confusing and I know I’ve read there’s not always consistent regulation behind what claims can be made on the packaging. Even with teething, sleepless kids, I’m cautious of just how much baby Tylenol is too much. Isn’t it the same for animals? What does antibiotic-free really mean?
What about feeding your kids? Are there things you look for on labels? Is it more important to you that the food is from a farm you know? Organic? Is there a source of truth you use when you have a question need an answer to?
Why can’t all farms be organic, cage-free, grass-fed, etc? Obviously, in an ideal world, we’d all be running around in open space without anything putting us at risk, animals included. But can we feed everyone if everything is produced that way? (note from Carrie, I talked about this a little HERE)
What’s your least favorite myth you hear? Can we help spread smarter and more accurate information on your behalf?
If there was ONE thing you could tell every mom straight from the farmer’s mouth, what would it be?
And finally, a quick thank you to Carrie. You’ve educated me and thousands of others who are pretty far removed from life on the farm. I know I’m not alone in saying how much I appreciate you taking the time to dispel rumors, spread accurate information and help the masses to be more educated!
Angie Emrey, Mom of Two and very much not a farmer
Carrie here- I will be writing posts to address these questions and will be linking back to them here as I write them. Thank you so much to Angie for writing this and giving me and mt farmer followers some insight into what moms want to know about their food!