Blush- Compliments

We caught up on sleep, e-mails and phone calls before getting into the car and driving south to Des Moines. 

Awaiting us across from the sun dial in front of the Drake Law School was family farmer and legendary Ag lawyer Neil Hamilton who was kind enough to host a screening of American Meat. The Ag Law students had arranged for pizzas and vegetables- which helped lure a perfect-sized crowd of graduate students into the lecture hall for the screening. 

In the conversation following we talked about the promise of the next generation of farmers, about how because the average age of the U.S. farmer is 57, that there is a golden opportunity for young people to get into a profession that will only be more in demand in each of the passing years- not unlike the current demand for nurses as the baby boomers enter their 60s. State Advisor Dale Gruis- who's helped coordinate the screenings- was on hand- as always tirelessly supporting a dynamic conversation about the exciting possibilities of farming in America.

We also talked about feeding the world, about the global market and the potential sea-change on the horizon in the wake of Chipotle's farm-to-restaurant pilot program.

And- blush- we got a couple of the most well articulated and heartfelt compliments we've ever received. Michelle, whose family raises commodity hogs in Illinois, said the documentary was incredibly balanced, and that she would recommend it to her friends and family back home. This is exactly what we have aimed for, starting conversations with all farmers, conversations that respect the work that all farmers do to feed our country. Rachael- who helped start an organic farm at the University of Minnesota, talked about the balanced tone that will help bring all farmers to the table  and promised to help us set up screenings at the very large and influential Ag school at her alma mater. 

As a whole we were very humbled by the kind words, and feel a growing excitement at the possibility of reaching future farmers across Iowa, and eventually across the country. We said goodbyes and grabbed a half-box of uneaten pizza for the drive back north, as the first snow of the trip started to fall. 

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published this page in Ruminations 2012-07-18 11:06:10 -0400