Updated: Feb 7, 2022
When you meet a farmer you will learn some important things about that farmer right from the start, if the farmer is comfortable with you. Let’s talk about those things and their significance.
When meeting a farmer you will first learn the hard work and dedication that is put in every day. You will know this by the firm grip of the hard, calloused hand wrapped around your own hand as you come in for a handshake greeting. You will also learn the of the farmer‘s sincerity as your eyes meet, because a good handshake is always paired with looking the other person right in the eye.
You will learn the farmer’s name, first and last. That first name is the name mama called when dinner was ready and dad used when he needed a hand, and the last name is wrapped in generations of history and future yet to be realized. That name is the only thing for sure the farmer will still own at the end of each season, and it is guarded as a prized possession.
Once you learn the farmer’s name you will next get a brief overview of the farm. You learn what is grown on the farm, but most will not tell you how much is grown or how big the farm is; and it would be considered impolite for you to ask. To farmers asking the size of their farm or how many animals they have is comparable to asking how much money is in their bank account. While you don’t want to ask that, it is ok to ask about their methods in growing their produce or livestock.
And lastly you will learn how many generations of their family have worked the farm. I have found 3rd generation to be most common in the people I greet, and it is always inspiring when I meet someone who is 7th generation or more. Think about your own lineage, can you trace back your family to your great-great-great-great grandparents? Imagine working on the same soil they worked centuries before, that is something to be proud of. Or imagine being first or second generation and still in the building stages, but keeping the faith as you work hoping to build something successful so the next generation and the one after that will be proud to call it theirs.
There is a lot of information to take in when you meet a farmer. A lot of significance in that 30 second exchange. Hello, my name is David Hafner and I’m a smallholder, which means I farm about 5 acres. I raise sheep, poultry, pigs, and a pile of kids. I’m a 1st generation farmer bringing up the next generation right behind me.