“….For the last three years, I’ve been engaged in the urgent and pressing work of understanding who else is defining me, other farmers, and our community, and what impact those definitions bear on my life at Quill’s End Farm with my family. These definitions also impact the whole renewed system of feeding each other, and the impact on the many farmers and their patrons across our land.
I’ve heard with increasing frequency farmers talking about “staying quiet”, or “just staying under the radar”, or “I’ll do it this way until I get caught”. I used to smile at this, even laugh. I don’t any more. Now it makes me very sad. Because, of course, these ways of speaking about our work do make it sound like drug dealing. Know any other honest profession that is just trying to “keep quiet” and “stay invisible”?
Such language is entirely inappropriate to how we should be defining ourselves. Because if we define ourselves in terms of acting inappropriately, then we need to accept the implications of that. If what we’re doing must remain hidden, “off the radar”, well, then, we must be doing something wrong.
Think of how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S Department of Agriculture, and most states’ departments of agriculture define who we are and what we do. We are food processors, handlers and distributors and we are dealing with hazardous and potentially hazardous substances.
The hazardous white substance is what most of us call milk; “potentially” hazardous substances include meats, lard, cheese….”