We’re all connected to food and farming
Recently, I was asked two questions I figured would make for a good introduction as editor of this redesigned edition of Iowa Farm Bureau’s Family Living magazine.
First, one of my in-laws exclaimed over the holidays: “You grew up on a farm? I thought you were from the city.” I’m not sure why it was surprising, given that I've been an ag journalist for 20-plus years.
I suspect some people still have an outdated view of farmers — that they all wear overalls or straw hats. Or that as a farmer’s daughter, I should be strong enough to wrestle a pig. Instead, I wrestle words into sentences (although still a hefty job).
I grew up on a Century Farm in north central Iowa, along the Minnesota border, where my family raised beef cattle, hogs and a herd of stray farm cats.
I can’t count how many Iowans I’ve met — from teachers to doctors and from business leaders to scientists — who have told me that they, too, have a connection to agriculture.
Maybe their grandparents or in-laws farm. Or their patients or clients are farmers. Or, like me, they wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for farmers.
As for the second question, my daughter — who is going through a picky eating phase — asked me if there are any foods that I don’t like.
My husband responded: “There’s not much your mom doesn’t eat.”
He’s right. Blunt, but right.
I can’t think of a single food that I won’t try at least once. When it comes to eating, I love variety. Food is vital to my health, joy and community. Just like agriculture, food connects us all.
While Family Living magazine looks a lot different, our goal remains the same — to connect Iowans to the farmers who work everyday to provide food, fuel and more for our families and communities.
As we discovered during the pandemic, we all want to learn more about how our food is grown and raised. So in every issue, we will dig deeper into food and farming issues important to you, including nutrition, food safety, sustainability and rural entrepreneurship.
Most of all, we invite you to be part of the conversation about the future of food and farming. Please feel free to send us your thoughts, story ideas or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now more than ever, Iowa farmers want to connect with you, their customers.
And as always, farmers will continue to provide the high quality, nutritious and safe foods that we all want and need. Even if they have to wrestle a few pigs now and then.
Teresa Bjork Editor, Family Living