Thank A Farmer was created when I heard of farm kids being bullied in their schools. They were being made fun of by the way they dressed and what they did. Growing up in Chicago I knew kids living the city never learned the importance of farmers so Thank A Farmer was created to do just that. The goal is to have a Thank A Farmer Day in every school across our nation, so regardless if you grow up in the city or a rural area you'll learn how important farmers and the culture of agriculture are at a early age.
Children across the country love our programs and books and are eager to share with others the fun farm facts they learn. Most importantly they learn to respect farmers which includes some of their fellow students.
Our hope is that with this new found respect for farmers it eliminates the disrespect and bullying tactics but it's hard when adults continue to bully each other in agriculture. Yes, I'm talking about false advertising and bullying tactics I see everyday via the internet, farmer's markets, grocery stores and brochures advertising agricultural products.
In the 70's we had a Irish neighbor who would introduce us as, "This is Joyce and Rhonda. They're Irish Protestants, but very nice." As a kid I knew very little about the problems going on in Ireland and even though religion wasn't the "real" problem, it was used as a divider and flash point in which to judge and to take sides on, many times with deadly consequences.
We are doing the same thing in Agriculture. If you're a small farmer or a large farmer be accountable for the truth and stop ridiculing other ways of farming.
If your product is wonderful it should stand on its own without taking pot shots at your competition. You shouldn't have to justify your product by tearing down someone else. It only confuses customers and they learn to not trust anyone, including yourself.
Remember, when you point a finger at someone there are three pointing back at you. Just like Protestants and Catholics are Christian religions with slightly different practices, farmers farm in different ways but they are still farmers.
We are all in this together! Let's be accountable for what we say about others and reject bullying! Children imitate adults.