Sowing the Seeds of our Future Farmers
Eat local, buy local is the proverbial phrase these days, and one well worth supporting. However I believe that being a locavore reaches farther into the hidden gems of our lives. The teachers of our next generation of farmers, many of whom are volunteers, are those gemstones. These special people provide encouragement, excitement, and priceless grains of wisdom to youngsters as they discover the joys of growing plants and raising animals. The volunteers are literally sowing the seeds of our farmers to be.
This week the Market eagerly welcomes the 4H Farmtastic Club. This group of dedicated caretakers and potential farmers will bring several farm animals to the market. I encourage all, young and old to not only visit the animals but also to ask the kids a question. It shows them that people care and want to know more. Questions make them think, learn, and prepare to be teachers themselves. Most of these 4H members will be showing the animals at the Marshfield Fair in August where they will be judged on the condition of the animals, as well as their knowledge of how to properly care for and work around the animals.
I personally want to give thanks to the 4H leaders. Their efforts are amazing and perpetuate the future of local farming, local sustainable meat, and the engagement of youth in agriculture in addition to giving a boost to the kids’ self-confidence and leadership skills. So many volunteers had a hand in my most impressionable childhood years where animals were easier to talk with than humans and the opportunities meant the world to me. So pay it forward, thank a 4H leader or volunteer on Friday for the next decade’s food supply!