November 28, 2011 by Carrie Mess
Nothing like blog posts going from cow report cards to body art…. Funny thing is, what a lot of people think of when they picture a farmer in their mind just isn’t how it is today. I just got a tattoo, it isn’t a tractor logo, a cow or anything you may think of when you think about farmers. It got me thinking about how farmers today just aren’t the overall wearing, country music listening, slow talking, technophobes that some people may conjure up when asked what a farmer looks like.
“Are you a farmer that doesn’t fit the stereotype? Instead of a truck you drive a VW.
You have more ink than the local newspaper. Your tractor blasts ICP or Ke$ha…
Tell me how you break the typical farmer mold. Pictures if possible!”
I wasn’t disappointed in the response from the farming social media world! Wow, we sure have some freaks out there! I kid, I kid. Just like the 98% who do not farm, the 2% involved in production agriculture is pretty dang diverse. The other day I was chatting with a friend of mine who was getting ready to head to the symphony. Before he could leave his farm he needed to finish breeding cows. I bet most people don’t look around at the symphony and think that the guy sitting next to them just artificially inseminated a cow. A farmer that enjoys the symphony is by no means shocking, however it breaks the stereotype. Glen, another Wisconsin dairy farmer says his tractor is more likely to have Rage Against The Machine playing in it than the Big Joe Polka Show. Jeff a grain and fruit farmer marches to the beat of his own drum, wearing golf shirts and khaki shorts while listening to Ke$ha in his tractor. Sarah from Virginia says she loves Lady GaGa and heels but her Muck boots are her favorites. Music tastes and clothing choices are personal and just because farmers have rural addresses doesn’t mean we all listen to country and wear overalls.
My posts asking for photos and input inspired some great discussion about what it means to be yourself when you are part of what can be an all consuming profession. I think it’s awesome that the people growing our corn, beans, apples and cotton, farmers milking cows feeding pigs and beef steers, raising rabbits and chickens are just as diverse as agriculture is. It reminds me that “it takes all kinds to make the world go ’round” and I am thankful to live in a country where I can have those choices. Even if in my county I may raise an eyebrow. The conversation has also lead to me thinking more about what people see when they look at me. What kind of first impression do I leave? I have worked a long time to have my actions reflect who I am. Now I think it’s time for me to tackle the outside. I am challenging myself to step it up a notch and instead of wishing I had a certain look, going for it.
What do you like about your personal style? Is there anything you want to change about the first impression you leave? We all have stereotypes we could fit under no matter the profession, how do you break the mold?