Again, it's been awhile since I have written in the blog and I need to do better. Life gets in the way, I have other things to do, and a million other excuses that I can think of. However I believe I have found inspiration.
Don't get me wrong, there have been many things that I could have written about such as continuing to talk about my McCloy Fellowship in Germany, my hired man being diagnosed with cancer (he is doing well btw), Dillon breaking his ankle in hoops, or ag group meetings and life on the farm.
However my inspiration has come from spending a week away from home at the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) winter meeting in D.C. and catching up with an Eisenhower Fellow and friend in the North Carolina Research Triangle area.
What really hit home was the amount of money spent world wide on environmental advocacy, both sides of the issue included. Can you believe that $2.2 trillion is spent annually? Yes that number is correct making it the 5th largest economic sector worldwide. While pro agriculture and industry money is included, they don't hold a candle to the deep pockets of the other side. How can we compete? My conclusion is we can't outspend them, but we can speak up; we need to speak up!
Next was committee meetings, I am on three. I am on the U.S. Wheat/NAWG Joint Biotech Committee, Vice Chair of the Research & Technology Committee which puts me on the Operations & Planning Committee. The future of agriculture and wheat was discussed in all of these and biotech was center stage. Simply put, we need biotech.
So here we are at a five start restaurant for dinner...and that uncomfortable feeling sets in when someone else pushes my chair in for me. The very formal antics by the staff, while good for the elites who want that pampering, was a subject of conversation for us. But that is not why we went there.
We learned that we could have our meal paired with a wine, but both of us are beer kind of guys. We are not uncouth (well that might be questioned in my circle of friends) but being pretentious is not in our being. Then comes time to order and I missed my first opportunity (will explain later). I ordered the Farm Lettuce Salad to start the meal and the Meyers Beef Two Ways (see the menu and try to guess where this is going).
When I did that I looked at Rob out of the corner of my eyes and a smile came to his face. He KNEW what was coming next. Not exactly what I was going to say, but where I was going to go. I am still chuckling about our "man" communication without saying words, the "Oceans" movies had that part correct.
If you have guessed, it had to do with "Farm Carrots." I asked the waiter with a straight face, lined with concern, and puppy dog eyes "What is a Farm Carrot?" The waiter obviously had never been asked that question and bumbled around trying to answer it. I don't remember any of the words or descriptions he said but I started to feel sorry for him and told him I was a farmer.