For most I assume they would say the start of fall, football season, pumpkins, apple cider and Halloween. I love all of the things and YES October is all of those to me also.....but it is so much more......
October is National Pork Month - For those of us who raise hogs it is a month dedicated to our passion! I have been so wrapped up in all those other things that October represents I have not done my part as a pork producer for Pork Month. Back in August I attended a county zoning meeting with my parents; this meeting was for zoning approval for a new hog facility in Dallas County. We went to learn more and to show support to the family applying, a family we did not know. As soon as we walked in, it was evident that we were the only ones there in support of this family. As we sat there for hours listening to the concerns of citizens of not only Dallas County but surrounding counties; concerns ranging from smell, to animal welfare, to water quality, to antibiotic use and resistance it occurred to me I NEED to do more! I feel I am fortunate to have a job where I am allowed to educate, advocate and inspire others about my passion and that is Agriculture - more over Iowa Agriculture and I guess more than that Animal Agriculture. In those hours that passed in the meeting my blood went from boiling mad about the mis-information out there to complete sadness for this family that was none different than my own; that was being run through the mud for trying to expand their operation. That night...that family lost their battle for expansion, but I gained a drive...a drive to work harder to inform, educate and advocate. My parents and myself that night made a decision that we need to be open and honest and to allow those individuals into our lives. We as farmers, advocates or just meat lovers NEED to not be afraid...we NEED to tell our story and we NEED to show our story. My family hopes to have those county officials out to our farm and show them our CAFO. To show them that we ARE a Family Farm and we ARE going to be here for the long haul!
October also hosts - National Farmer Day!
National Farmer Day - who would have thought an entire day dedicated to the farmer. My brother and dad farm full-time and like I have said this blog has a lot to do with them and telling their story. I am sure neither of them even knew it was National Farmer Day - and I checked there was no Hallmark card for such an occasion. But I guess we all need to thank and remember those farmers everyday!
There is one week in October that means a lot to me - National 4-H Week - a week where those of us who bleed green and white, the 4-leaf Clover and can recite the 4-H pledge by heart may take note and may let slip by. I am guilty of this! 4-H was a staple in my life for 10 years as a member and now for the last 8 as a member of the Dallas County Youth Committee and coaching my county 4-H judging team. For those of you who may not be familiar with 4-H it is an organization that is open and inviting to kids on the farm and those who have no interest in animals or agriculture. 4-H has changed so much over the years, they have now work with STEM and have clubs for kids who interests may be robotics or shooting sports. There are still those livestock clubs and event the cooking and sewing but really 4-H is sooooo much more! 4-H creates leaders and I have been fortunate to see so many great kids come through this organization and I cannot wait to see more!
So as you can see October is one FULL month! I need to take time and take it all in - for me October has lit a fire under me to do more and to take time and look back! I hope you all have a great October!