Pet Peeve

Please excuse me while I take a short break from healthcare and blow off some steam.

As a farmer, I’m often sent surveys from the government and from ag suppliers.  These questionnaires ask where I get the expert knowledge necessary to make important farming decisions.

  • Who scouts your fields for diseases and pests?
  • Who determines the amount of fertilizer you apply?
  • Who decides the chemicals you should use to control weeds and insects?
  • Et cetera
  • Et cetera

These questions always annoy me.  “I DO” is almost never one of the choices on the long list of government agencies, ag suppliers and outside experts.  The implication seems to be that I’m a stupid farmer who isn’t competent to make decisions affecting my farms.  I should be relying on someone else.

As a farmer, my profession is to scout my field and make decisions about fertilizer rates and chemical applications.  If I lack this key knowledge necessary to run my farm, I should get another job.  I also believe I am more motivated and competent to conserve the soil and water on my farm than is any outside expert (although I do appreciate the technical advice provided by the NRCS and SWCD in designing conservation practices).

Given the events of the last year, maybe the federal government should be shifting more of its survey efforts into finding out where the leaders of Wall Street and our big banks get their advice — since their ineptitude almost destroyed our financial system.  The farmers I know are competent professionals.

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