MFBF P&E Committee Member
Less than 2 percent of the population of the United States are farmers, yet millions of consumers, special interest groups and several government agencies dictate how food, fuel and fiber are raised and processed. When I was a parent of two young boys who spent hours designing and playing with Legos, I regretted not investing funds in the company. So what do Legos have to do with agriculture?
In the May 2015, issue of Crop Insurance Today, Tom Zacharias, National Crop Insurance Services President, drafted an article titled, “Leg Godt,” or as the Danes would say, “Play Well.” A condensed history of the Lego company reveals the name is an abbreviation of the Danish words “leg godt: meaning “play well.” Zacharias correlates the crop insurance to lots of interlocking pieces and playing well. I challenge fellow agriculturists to examine your personal role in ’playing well’ in several arenas.
The United States is blessed with soils, climate and natural resources including water that allow us to produce the best quality and high yielding crops on earth. For over a century, our government and agriculture have made long-term public investments in our agricultural infrastructure including research and development of hybrid plants and crop protection products, soil conservation, technology and crop insurance to manage risk. These investments are fundamental in our country’s ability to feed the U.S. population and historically serve as a leading exporter of agricultural products. Farmers partner with local businesses to produce goods and raw products, then with processors, transportation and distribution, marketing products for all consumers. Nearly every commodity has formed a grassroots organization; Farm Bureau represents agricultural diversity. We also work with the local Soil & Water Conservation Districts, various county and state departments and authorities, Natural Resource & Conservation Services, Farm Service Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture. We have witnessed how financially stable agriculture is the foundation to a stable community and society. Stewardship is responsible accountability for land use and conservation, taxpayer dollars that support agriculture and family values.
Playing well is imperative to sustainable agriculture. A farmer’s integrity is essential to public support. Sometimes we simply agree to disagree, respectfully. Consider adopting Barry Moltz ideology of “Like me, know me, trust me,” to engage all consumers and promote agriculture. Farmers encounter great responsibilities and expectations along with rewards. How will you play well?