Maybe it’s a cry of desperation or a need to feel like we can make a difference. Sometimes it’s a need for control. But it's a question I hear (and find myself asking) a lot right now. When we don’t feel like we have any choices or that we can help. In any area. What can I do? What can I possibly do?
I’m a do-er. I’m a first-born daughter of a German-Irish farming family. On both sides. There is ALWAYS something we can do. Which is why it is so intolerable when it feels like there’s nothing to hold on to. Nothing we can do.
I watched my family lose everything in a fire in our hog house back in South Dakota. I was six years old and literally found the flames in the barn. Even before that, there was a tone of fear in the air, during the farm crisis of the 1980s. I remember those rallies. And my family did something. Even when we lost everything and had to leave the only thing my father had ever done, we did something. We moved across the entire state and settled on the edge of the Black Hills in Wyoming. We were the first Lutterman’s to leave the county, and we left the state. It was hard times… I remember that. But when you grow up in a farming family, it almost always feels like hard times. Or my version of farming families, anyway.
Not a lot has changed in agriculture since those days. Little farmers are still consistently at risk and at the mercy of mother nature, or volatile futures markets or the health of the land and the animals they raise. Farmers are tough because they are so incredibly vulnerable and hard work makes a big difference.
My good friend, Emily, recently gave us a shout out and asked people to support us, "Not just because I consider this family a part of my family, but because, in a political climate where little importance is placed on sustainability we will depend more and more on people like this to continue to produce food and make business choices that put our earth and our families first!"
Many folks feel a call to political activism right now. I'm in awe of the amazing things happening right now, and also the hard work that is going into these efforts. Getting a fire rekindled after it’s almost burnt out takes a lot of energy, but there also has to be some hot coals waiting underneath all that soot. Waiting for some air for you to gently blow. And then—poof. It takes on a life of it’s own. THAT’S what you can do.
You can actually participate in raising your food by investing in community supported agriculture. The farmers have a job because of YOU. You can be connected to your source—actually have a relationship. And you can make sure that wherever you are getting your food, they are doing things that matter to you. I’m not here to judge or tell you what those things should be. Only you know. But you can actually walk the walk here and reap what you sow. When you and our community believes in us and asks us to raise your food, we are honored to be your rancher.
Go to the source. It’s the first rule of journalism, of finding the purest and most honest version. And when it comes to food, it’s as old as civilization itself.