Take some time to read the article, but here's the bottom line: The New York Times sponsored a meeting titled "Food for Tomorrow; Farm Better, Eat Better, Feed the World." When I first read about this meeting last summer, I was surprised to see NO FARMERS on any panels. I wasn't the only one who was surprised, and a group of farmers quickly remedied that situation, and was able to get a few farmers on the panel.
So now for the meeting itself. One of the meeting sponsors was Porsche. I didn't realize they were in the farm truck or utility vehicle business, but I will have to look into their offerings when we replace our 1994 Chevy, or our 2006 Chevy that is so stripped down, you actually have to roll down the windows, not press a button. A Porsche pickup would truly fit right in on our operation. I understand why farmers are their target market.
The registration fee for the meeting was $1,400, and it was held at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. It is a working farm, where the majority of the food is sold to their restaurant, which features a $198 tasting menu.
So farmer meetings, vs meetings about farmers. A few years ago I was sitting in the courthouse basement, in Devils Lake, ND, surrounded by farmers, and I had an epiphany. There was an American flag in the corner, the 4-H creed on the wall, the smell of ham and baked potatoes cooked by the local church ladies filled the room, and I was surrounded by guys in tattered jeans, free seed company jackets and caps, and dirty boots. This was my life. And was this the life I wanted?
Of course it is! This pic below is a typical farm show pic: Free jacket, free hat, product info tucked into back pocket, and these guys were probably sniffing their way to the roast beef lunch (that was not $198.) These are the guys who grow your food, and they're attending meetings to make themselves better farmers. All winter long I attend meetings, full of farmers who are trying to do a better job every year. I'm proud to be in the same industry as these guys.
I hope the New York Times meeting was productive, and I hope much was learned and shared. As for me, I'll keep attending meetings in courthouse basements, community centers, and American Legions, and enjoy the ham, meatballs, roast beef, or chicken that was prepared by the local church ladies. And if I have to pay $10 for my meal ticket, I'll feel pretty good knowing someone else had to pay $198.