The Bigger Things in Life
Some of the best agvocating (advocating agriculture) conversations happened this past week at the Minnesota State Fair. My husband, daughter and I volunteered at the Minnesota Farm Bureau building as part of the “Meet a Farmer” event. It was fantastic and we ALL had some really great conversations with consumers! But what we didn’t realize was there are bigger things in life than just talking about agriculture.
|Farm Bureau Ag Quiz|
Let me give you some background.
Giveaways were given to those who completed the Farm Bureau Ag Quiz. The answers were found on displays throughout the building. The last question on the quiz was “Meet a Farmer” and ask them about their farm. That’s where we came in and how agvocacy conversations took place.
There were a total of five of us volunteering during our shift – three from our family and two from another family. Many times during our shift, ALL five of us were busy talking to consumers about agriculture, our farms and answering questions about farming.
|Taco Salad Recipe from www.fromthefarmtable.com|
After our shift, my husband (trying to hold back tears) told me of a conversation he had with a gentleman who happened to be a few years younger than he. This gentleman had filled out the quiz and was ready to receive his giveaway. He was reminded to also take the quiz card with him because of the taco salad recipe on the back of the card. Lightheartedly, he was asked if he had anyone to make the taco salad for him. Cordially he replied that he was a bachelor, but “he would be looking for someone at some point in the future”. A few moments later, he took my husband aside and told him his wife passed away 3 months earlier. She was just 51 years old and had died of cancer. An age younger than we were. My husband responded that he was very sorry to hear that and they continued to talk. He needed someone to share his loss with. And that took precedence over our mission that day. As the gentleman was leaving, my husband put his hand on his shoulder and told him to take care and wished him well.
It is these moments of agvocacy, where we think our conversations should be about agriculture, that we learn there are bigger things in life. It was a moment we wouldn’t soon forget.
What is more important is our personal connections with other humans – at times talking, listening and showing empathy about their lives and struggles they choose to share with us. You can’t help but put yourself in his situation. I am sure intellectually he knows she is in a better place but this wasn’t the plan.
In that moment, it didn’t matter that my husband was a farmer, or that he could answer questions about how his food is grown or that he was honored to provide families with food.
This gentleman needed something more powerful.
He needed to share, with another human being, his experience of losing of a loved one. And, after having lost our 3 1/2 month old granddaughter, both my husband and myself understood grief. God puts us all where we need to be and there is no doubt in my mind, this is where my husband needed to be that day. And . . .
He is a FARMER and I could not be more proud on how he connected with this gentleman that day.
Yes . . . there are bigger things in life.