12 ways to embrace the culture of agriculture and rural America – Agweek

The holiday and winter season in rural America reminds me of the importance of culture in agriculture. Many of you, like me, see this in action. We are planning and participating in the activities of the soon-to-be-started winter. But for those who didn’t grow up in a farming culture, let the “old ways” fall by the wayside, or have simply been on the sidelines for the past few years, it’s refreshing. Maybe I’m writing for myself here more than anyone else.

Here is a list of the top activities I cherish about rural life and agricultural culture this time of year:

  1. Buy gifts in our communities, not just online. Shopping small and supporting local means we support the people, jobs and tax base where we work and live.
  2. Visit our neighbors. That might mean Sunday visits for coffee, or simply calling a nearby widow, new family, or someone you haven’t seen in a while and asking them to come visit with cookies or a basket of fruit in hand.
  3. Show up for a local tree lighting, community Santa Day, singing in church or packing a box for Operation Christmas Child.

    Attend a local tree lighting, visit your neighbor, attend a school or church Christmas party, or watch a basketball game in the school gym to experience rural American culture this season, says Katie Pinke. The photo shows the lighting of the tree in 2016. in Wishek, North Dakota.

    Katie Pinke/Agweek

  4. Participate in school and church Christmas programs and cantatas, whether or not children or family members are involved.
  5. Donate to a local charityremove names from your local angel tree or simply support those you know need some extra cheer this season that others may not know or recognize.
  6. Make a call for a local Salvation Army or Lions Club fundraiser.
  7. Check out the family recipes to do with your loved ones. Some are more beloved than others, and some treats we keep for the sake of tradition.
  8. Deliver food on wheels or support a local food pantry or soup kitchen.

    Meals on Wheels and donating or volunteering at local food pantries or soup kitchens are ways to connect with community culture in rural America, shares Katie Pinke. In the photo – Pinke’s daughters in 2018. on December 24, delivering food together with her.

    Katie Pinke/Agweek

  9. Participate in agricultural meetings, conferences and farm exhibitions, connect with fellow farmers, ranchers and farmers while learning new information. These are mostly winter meetings, and the connections I’ve learned span decades.
  10. Watch local basketball at a small town high school. An agribusiness professional once told me that his business goal was to make his niche crop the theme of the bleachers at a basketball game. Our daughters season starts this week and I know exactly what he means now.
  11. Bring your own tractor/snowplow in order to clear the driveway of an elderly neighbor or a young mother.
  12. say hi and stop to talk to someone in the aisle at the grocery store next to you or across the aisle on the airplane when you see someone in agriculture you recognize. This happened to me last night.
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People and connections drive agricultural culture and to me, make rural America stand out.
I believe that if we lose our intentional connection with the little people around us, the culture in agriculture fades.

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Last week I spent the night in Columbus, Ohio on the 14thth America’s largest city, with a metro area of ​​about 2 million people. That’s about three times the population of my home state of North Dakota. I attended a conference with agribusiness professionals and spoke to a group.

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Even in a big city 1,000 miles away from where I call home, we share passions shared by those who live and work in agriculture.

Although the comforts of the idyllic culture I love are harder to find and see in a big city. Of course, the community and connection still exists, but not in the way we share in rural America, I think.

The culture of rural America is not perfect. We know and see the shortcomings and try to improve them. Not everyone agrees, but shared values ​​and mutual respect distinguish our communities and connections.

Agricultural culture during the holiday season and throughout the year needs to be preserved and continued for our children and future generations. Your example is noticed and sets the stage for others to follow.

Visit your neighbor this week. And I hope to see you soon at the Christmas program or in the school gymnasium.

And to the farmer who recognized me on the plane across the aisle last night, thank you for the conversation and sharing about farming and family life. You have reminded me of the importance of culture in agriculture wherever we find ourselves.

Pinke is the publisher and CEO of Agweek. She can be reached at [email protected] or connected on Twitter @katpinke.


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