Last week, blogging was sidelined by work travel. I spent nearly the whole week in Charlotte, North Carolina, at an audit department conference. Since I work with a lot of people remotely, it was great put the smiling faces behind the voices on all those conference calls. You may be asking, “what does one do at an audit conference?” The answer really is listen to speakers, network, and eat. Not that different from any other professional conference I imagine.
After the conference ended, J joined me out east for a weekend adventure to the Boone, North Carolina area. It was a fun getaway, but the primary purpose was business. Some of the calves that come to our farm are actually from the Northern North Carolina and Southern Virgina area, so we decided to visit the source.
I will be honest . . . I thought these farm visits would be completely boring for me, but it was actually really fun meeting people with a completely different background and perspective (I mean they see Iowa as “out west”). They were so welcoming and hospitable, and I really enjoyed spending time with the people we met.
One of the farmers we met was involved in many ventures including growing Christmas trees and distributing produce. At first I thought that cattle, Christmas trees, and produce really had nothing in common; however, I soon realized that it’s all agriculture! In Iowa, I have one perspective of agriculture and what a farmer is . . . someone with vast fields of corn and beans and maybe some livestock. However, beyond the typical Midwestern farm, there is so much variety and diversity in agriculture that ranges from organic produce farms, peanut growers, hog producers, avocado farmers, strawberry patches, cattle feed lots, potato farmers . . . the list goes on an on. Farms range in size and scope but all have a core mission of growing and caring for something for consumers.
Stepping outside of my environment really helped me gain perspective how broad and deep the roots of American agriculture have grown. I would challenge you to take just a minute to think about the various farmers in your life . . . those you know and those you don’t. There are likely a variety of them in your life everyday!
In an unrelated note, GO BLUEJAYS and GO CYCLONES. I wish I could be in San Antonio this weekend cheering for both teams, but my new kitchen is sucking up the budget. Instead I will be distracted at work with March Madness.