I’ve always been pretty fascinated by doomsday prophesies. In high school my friends and I held a Y2K party, at midnight we all checked our vehicles to make sure they still ran. Last year in June the hired kid I was riding with, my dog and all the cows disappeared for a time, I was pretty sure either they’d been raptured or I had I wasn’t sure. This year being 2012 we have a whole new list of things to worry about.
After reading a news story about someone using xylitol to nix wolves in Idaho yesterday I’ve developed my own doomsday prophesy. It wasn’t the article that got my mind wandering, but rather the comments following the article. Reading comments following an agriculturally related article published in mainstream media always gets me jazzed up. Apparently these goons don’t eat, wear clothes, have pets or children and most likely live in an asphalt jungle.
My doomsday prophesy given to my mother October 5, 2012- “You know mom, I don’t give a hoot if they take all the sheep off public lands, in fact, I HOPE they take all the sheep off public lands. I hope they take the cows off too. I also hope they put out every forest fire that starts for the next 10 years. I hope they halt all timber sales and quit logging 100% on public land, then shut down logging on private land. I hope all pesticides and herbicides are banned. I hope wolves, grizzlies, bobcats, and cougars make full population recoveries, maybe even recoveries beyond pre-extermination levels. I am excited to see what will happen when forest landscapes are blackened by mega fires, people are griping more than they already do about smoke and structures lost. I’m stoked to see a monoculture of noxious weeds and hear about epidemic West Nile. I can’t wait for the food supply entirely provided by foreign countries to be chock full of nasty bacteria and on top of that cost an arm and a leg. I hope people are cold in the winter because there’s not a single solitary sheep left in the US and the only sweaters being shipped in are from Australia made entirely of wool owned by China. It will be interesting to see peoples reactions to children being grabbed at bus stops by wolves, grizzly maulings in Kansas and the need for elk reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park.”
Yes, I realize this is a little over the top, at least I hope it is. The question is, how do we prevent Kim’s Doomsday from happening? GET INVOLVED! This is as much a pep talk for myself as it is for anyone that wastes 10 minutes reading my blog. Often I find it difficult to get involved as I get so overwhelmed by the negativity being thrown around about agriculture, but sitting back and watching the policy fly may very well result in elk reintroduction and spotted knapweed lawns.
Why is it, in high school and college we were excited about our industry groups? We were all members of FFA, 4-H, Collegiate FFA, Ag Ambassadors, junior livestock associations and the like and now we’re not? I suspect its because we’ve already burnt out to some degree, constant inundation with the negative, always being on the defense about out way of life and a rapidly changing world. Often we’re so busy trying to produce food and fiber we don’t have time to get involved. A friend suggested that most organizations are made up of good ol boys and we feel like we’re not totally welcome.
Personally, I’m a member of one measly industry organization. Believe it or not it was a difficult decision even to entertain joining. Between lambing, calving, haying, chasing cows, chasing sheep, haying, haying, gathering…the list goes on and on I just didn’t know if I’d do any sort of group justice. I am so glad I continue to go to meetings and do my best to be involved. It’s such a relief to sit down in a group and discuss current events relating to agriculture with folks that live with the same hassles, irritations, setbacks and victories I do. In addition to all that we have the opportunity to change policy, change public perception of ag and change the way my doomsday prophecy will turn out.
If nothing else, just do a little research on what sort of organizations are available. Farm Bureau, Cattlemen’s Assn, ASI, Beef Council and 4-H leadership are a few ideas.
Lets do everything we can to thwart the ignorance creating the perfect conditions for agriculture doomsday. I’d much rather go down in the zombie apocalypse, an alien attack, a giant tsunami that wipes out the entire west coast or the rapture than cold, hungry and owned by the foreign power that feeds us.