So often when we are advocating for agriculture we are worried about the people outside of our personal circle, whether it be an acquaintance on social media, neighbors we do not know that well or strangers in a grocery store. So many times we are told these are the people we need to be reaching out to.

Messing-Kennedy is a dairy producer located in Michigan.

We do need to reach out to them on a regular basis. I do it regularly on my blog and Facebook page.

So often though, we forget a group very close to us. Our family. I'm not necessarily talking family like your parents or siblings. I am referring to cousins, aunts, uncles, even grandparents, even some of the family members who grew up on the farm. With how fast things change, they often don't understand a lot of what you do anymore. Between technology changing things and all of the misinformation floating around the Internet, it's easy for even the most level headed of people to get lost.

The most important thing to remember is you are a trusted source to them. You are family and family who probably knows you well. I'm not saying you need to abuse their trust, but be honest when they bring things up. Don't be afraid to have that tough conversation. Ask them if they want to come out for a farm tour.

At times, I have been amazed at the things my family asked. I thought they should know better, but then I forget how quickly things change on the farm. But many times those conversations have led to even better conversations later and it opens the dialogue. Do not discount these people just because they grew up on a farm 20 or 30 years ago.


With Easter coming up, I challenge you to have one of these conversations at a family gathering.  PD

Ashley Messing-Kennedy
  • Ashley Messing-Kennedy

  • Dairy Producer
  • Bad Axe, Michigan