Will you share in 2021?

Have you been making New Year’s resolutions every year, only to have them fall by the wayside before Valentine’s Day? Try picking a word for the year instead.  

I first heard about this from a blogger I follow, who talked about choosing one important word that would be her theme for the year. This word helps you focus on what’s important to you, achieve your goals, and guide your actions in everyday life.  

I like the idea of picking a word. One word can be applied to all areas of your life, tying them together. Resolutions, at least the ones I’ve made in past years, tend to be about separate areas of my life and may have nothing to do with each other. Even last year, when I set goals instead of resolutions, I found they didn’t incude all areas of my life.

I’m still choosing my personal word, but for farmers I’m stepping out and suggesting that share be the word for 2021.  

SHARE your time with your family. Whether it be riding in the tractor cab together, taking a lunch break at the field, or stopping for dinner at home with the family, share your time. I know it’s hard during planting and harvest season, so you have to make sharing your time with family a priority.

SHARE your knowledge with other farmers. This could be your children or grandchildren who are coming back to the farm. It could be a young or beginning farmer in your community. Farmers are some of the smartest people I know, and each has a wealth of knowledge worth sharing.  

Recently I was talking with a young farmer who started diversifying by growing produce in a greenhouse. I asked where he learned about the system he uses and his reply surprised me. Other farmers didn’t want to share their knowledge because he might be competition, so he learned what he knows from YouTube. The average age of farmers in 2017 was 57.5. We need this next generation, so share your knowledge.

SHARE your story. I’ve met so many farmers who are second, third, and even seventh generation. I imagine the stories the first generation could tell the seventh about what farming was like then. Those stories could be lost if not passed down.

The story sharing doesn’t have to stop there. Share your story with neighbors, customers, on social media, with local media, or a magazine writer who wants to learn about other farms. Most people are at least two generations removed from the farm, so they have no idea what it takes to grow or raise food and fiber. Share the good, the bad, and the ugly, so people know farming isn’t all roses.

How will you SHARE this year?

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