Southwest Michigan has a fantastic opportunity with the recent development of an integrative teaching initiative from a group of local educators and hospital administrators:
A few months ago an invite to be part of a food producers focus group relating to Campus development came my way. I made time, changed plans and made the effort to attend. I wondered how such a broad ranging program would impact farmers and local food. I really hoped to learn more….
Meetings are hard for me. I always sit there, actively listening and following the presentations. The difficulty lies in the amount of time involved and crucial farm work that ends up waiting till I’m done. Sadly this meeting was no different and a brief consensus among other farmers that attended; it took time away from much more productive work on the farm.
Farmers at meetings like this wear their work clothes. It was clear to see that the meeting was as much for the suits as getting input from farmers. The invite was sent to a host of farmers in our area, and the sign in sheet included their names. Of the list of invites a small fraction did as I did and made time to attend. Those who stayed on the farm were the smart ones. The suits ruled and introduced themselves with titles and descriptions that were important to them only. Technology dominated the presentation and questions were often answered with, “We’ll get to that at a later point of our presentation.” Since the invite included “Food Producers” the group included corporate VP’s, CEO’s and the like that talked, wasting our time, but never saying a thing. As a result the meeting provided information that was no different than what you could learn from reading the newspaper. I really should have stayed in the field.
I looked at the clock as the meeting was concluding and realized that my CSA pick-up was going to be rushed and had to dash….