How often do you think about food? A lot of people would say 3 times a day. Unless you hold the title of mom. How many times a day do you think about food as a mom?
My name is Lauren, and for me, I went from thinking about 3 meals a day for myself, then myself and my husband, then to countless times a day when you add in three young children. Meals plus snacks, not to mention all the grocery shopping and food decisions that come with it. It’s almost a full-time job!
My husband, Bryan, and I farm in southwest Minnesota, raising corn, soybeans – and kids. We have three children, Alaina-9, Aubrey-8, and Wesley-7. And my thoughts about food have changed drastically in the past 10 years. I’m sure many moms would say the same is true for them since having kids.
How has our relationship with food changed as consumers? We all used to be much closer to the land. People’s frequent recollections of farming and growing food used to be “My mom and dad were farmers.” Then moved to “I remember visiting my grandpa’s farm.” And now many children today will need to get to great-grandparents and beyond to make that connection to the land and the people who grow our food. Farmers only make up about 1-2% of the population, where it used to be close to 30%.
So why do I, as a farmer, want to talk with moms and consumers about what we do on a daily basis? To us, what we do every day is routine and, dare I say, boring. But now more than ever, people care about how their food is grown and want to know who it is that is producing it. And I think that’s wonderful!
There is a lot of bad information out there. Google can be your best friend – or your worst enemy. Farmers all across our country are working hard at raising food while trying to share with you what goes on our farms every day.
I can’t control what you read, where you get your information from. Or control what information you choose to believe and utilize to make food choices for your families. My hope is that whatever you want to know about food, a farmer will be part of the conversation. Why? The biggest thing I want consumers to know about farmers is that we are people and families just like you.
As a mom, I have all the same worries. I have to figure out how to get my family fed between our job (farming), and running kids to countless activities. When will I find time to get groceries amongst our busy days? What in the world will I make for supper when I get home and don’t feel like cooking? I have to wonder if I take my child to the doctor or not when they are sick. We worry about money. The kids’ college funds are something we have to save for. We want to take a vacation with our kids and make fun memories. Our families have all the same responsibilities, worries, successes and challenges as yours. We are people who work hard every day, to do the right thing and live a good life.
So follow and interact with us on social media. Visit our farms. Revel with us in the cute things our kids say or do, share in our daily parenting and relationship frustrations. And see how our farms are a part of who we are – and how we are making a life and raising our kids here trying to do the best we can.
We are families. We are taking care of animals that, in turn, take care of us. Caring for land that we pray will continue on for many more generations in our families. We hope that you will take the opportunity to get to know our wonderful farmers and learn about their lives and their families. We are excited to share and hopefully learn from all of you too!
Lauren is a volunteer with CommonGround Minnesota. CommonGround is a group of farm women who volunteer their time to share information about farming and food. Together, this group of women raise a variety of conventional and organic crops, livestock and produce. Join the conversation; find CommonGround Minnesota on Facebook and follow Lauren on Instagram (@laurenbiegler) and Facebook (Lauren Sandell Biegler).