Is It Possible…Truth

Is it possible that we can all have a different truth?

The definition of truth at lists 5 different meanings. In those different definitions, there is room for truth to be personal. What is true for you may not be true for me.

My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with people or organizations wanting to tell you the truth about GMO’s…or about organic farming…or the causes of cholesterol…or the cure for baldness and cancer. All the posts floating out there have made me question the Truth about Agriculture message.

You all know by now that Jonathan and I are organic crop farmers, and conventional pig farmers. What we consider the truth about agriculture is different that what other farmers consider the truth. So, who is right? Well, we both are.

When I tell my farm story to groups like the Lions or Rotary, I tell my farm story. I don’t mention anything about how my neighbors farm other than the fact that we do things differently. I don’t know the first thing about raising almonds, or milking cows, or cutting alfalfa, or growing cotton. Why would I even try to speculate on what those farmers might be doing? I don’t want to be the one spreading internet generated half truths about my neighbor’s farm. I eat at the same restaurants, worship at the same church, and attend family reunions with some of them. I respect my neighbors and my farmer friends too much to want to condemn their methods of farming just to make me look or feel good. I am sensitive to the power of words, and hate when I say something that would hurt someone. It’s just part of my DNA. I’m definitely not trying to make myself sound like I’m perfect. Jonathan and the girls will tell you differently.

My hope is that more farmers will be willing to get out there and tell their stories. Start your own blog, attend a training session to become part of a speakers corp, or use other social media platforms where consumers will be able to hear your truth. I’d rather hear about your farm from you, not from some group with an agenda.

Author: Carolyn Olson

I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. In 1988, I married my best friend, and moved to the farm. Jonathan and I have three daughters, and will soon have a son-in-law! I love life on the farm, and wouldn't trade it for anything!

6 thoughts on “Is It Possible…Truth”

  1. I know what you mean. My latest blog is about planting time, and I had looked at so many pro/anti/confused gmo articles, I decided not to judge the concept but instead make a few links and then write about the goods, bads, and uglies of planting season on our home farm ( I try to look at science-based information, but your observation about truth is worth considering.

    1. Thank you! I had to quickly go read your blog. I can really identify with the “don’t get any strings or tags in the seed box or it’ll plug” instructions. I hear it every year! 🙂

  2. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and must say that I agree with you on a LOT of things.
    Your attitude toward others who may do things differently is so kind and gracious.
    I hope that farmers of all types will share their stories and make connections across all the things that seem to divide us. Have you read Michelle Payn-Knoper’s book, “No More Food Fights” ? It’s great.
    I’ve been writing about our small operation for quite some time in hopes of encouraging the whole notion of know your farmer, know your food. I hope you’ll check it out…
    Keep up the good work blogging.

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I haven’t finished “No More Food Fights” yet, but so far, I am loving it!

      I took a quick peek at your blog, and really liked what you had to say. Thanks for sharing the link!


  3. Thanks for an article that makes so much sense. We’re all in this business of agriculture together, and while we each do things differently, I would hope the reasons for doing things differently are because that’s what we believe, that’s what works for our area, and what we grow, how we grow it is what folks want to buy.

    Last night in AgChat, one common theme was “tell YOUR story” to folks who don’t know where their groceries originate. The more we tell our stories, the better we connect with individuals, people who can make a difference in our lives, as we can make a difference in their lives.

    Always tell the truth about what you are doing.

    My mother used to tell me that telling one little white lie, would lead to another, and then another, and after a while, I’d have a hard time remembering what was true and what wasn’t. She was right. It takes much less work to tell the truth and only the truth, no matter how far fetched it may sound to the next guy.

    Here’s a good example.

    Last week, I had a guy interested in our eggs. While we have Certified Organic Produce, our chickens, and our livestock, are not organic. He was ok with not certified organic for the chickens and eggs, until he said he was glad they weren’t GMO fed.

    Well, hold on. I use IFA Co-op feed, and they can’t guarantee me that their suppliers are non-GMO. Therefore, I lost the sale, because I honestly said, I couldn’t guarantee they were non-GMO.

    Thanks again Carolyn for your efforts on telling your story.

    1. Thank you, Shari! I liked the conversations on AgChat last night. Farmers of all sizes and methods, students, and non-ag people being brought together by the topic of social media.

      Thank you for sharing your perspectives!


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