I grew up in a rather stereotyped suburb of New Orleans. Except for the last names, which reflected the post-World War II migration out from the city center, it could have been a suburb in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, or any other American city. Suburban kids learned early that food came from grocery stores and supermarkets. An uncle had a small farm across Lake Pontchartrain, and we visited a time or two. There’s even a picture of five-year-old me on a horse to prove it.
Decades later, I found myself working for a company in the agriculture business. I had one the best jobs imaginable – I gave money away. For years I traveled back and forth across the country, funding programs for wheat growers, corn growers, soybean producers, farm youth, farm broadcasters, and more. I’d visit farms, tour grower associations, and visit research centers. And I’d attend their conventions – in Nashville, Des Moines, Reno, Denver, San Diego, Orlando, Phoenix, and more. Once I was even forced to spend a week – on business – in Honolulu.
I was a latecomer to agriculture and farming, but once I was in it, I learned that farming is something for life. Even when you retire from it, you still pay attention.
Brian Miller came to agriculture considerably earlier. I found his blog, A South Roane Agrarian, through a site called Front Porch Republic. Miller posts weekly about weather, raising cattle, sheep, and pigs, weather, farm life, neighbors, weather, crops, life in rural East Tennessee, family (he’s a southwest Louisiana boy), weather, and more. Oh, did I mention weather? (No one in the planet is more concerned about weather than a farmer. That’s true for every culture, climate, and continent.)
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