Stuck In The Mud – A State Of Mind

The other day, after returning from Atlanta, I was going about my daily routine, thinking I was in four-wheel drive and proceeded to get stuck. After getting out of the truck, looking things over, checking my hubs, then looking at my dash panel, I realized I had not been in 4 wheel drive. After locking my four-wheel drive, I easily pulled out of the mud and proceeded, simply by transferring  from a single wheel attempting to drive the vehicle to four wheels working together in unison.

This situation got me to thinking about the relevance of my getting stuck in the mud and how it metaphorically applies in the real world.

Example 1: Federal government is “stuck in the mud” believing they know what is best for the individual.  Isn’t it time to “lock in four-wheel drive,” work with the people and allow the individual the opportunity to choose what is best for themselves?

Example 2: State government is “stuck in the mud” believing it knows better than local government. Isn’t it time to “lock in four-wheel drive” and work with city and county governments and stop issuing unfunded, unnecessary mandates?

Example 3: Government agencies are “stuck in the mud” trying to create more regulations and charge more fees for permits, waivers and programs that follow the same logic as 20 years ago.  Isn’t it time to “lock in four-wheel drive” and work with landowners to arrive at real on-the-ground solutions, less onerous restrictions and cost and reams worthless applications, contracts and documentation?

Example 4: Environmental groups are “stuck in the mud” continuing with the line of thinking that resource managers are still using archaic production practices. Isn’t it time to “lock in four-wheel drive” and recognize the progress in technology and modern conservation practices that have been implemented to enhance the environment and ensure its continued health and viability for future generations?

Example 5: Animal welfare groups are “stuck in the mud” spreading erroneous information that animal agriculture is prehistoric and cruel and are focused on implementing regulations and laws that ultimately negatively impact that which they are trying to improve. Isn’t it time to “lock in four-wheel drive,” recognize that producers  care for their livestock and continue to implement technology and handling practices that reduce stress and keep livestock healthier, and work with the industry to address the few “bad apples” that remain without negatively impacting the vast majority with slander and libel and causing more harm than good?Example 6: Commodity organizations are “stuck in the mud” trying to work alone to promote their individual product and rejecting opportunities to collaborate on projects simply because they won’t have “control” or won’t get the “credit.” Isn’t it time to “lock in four-wheel drive” and join with other organizations to work together for the benefit of all agriculture? A few excellent examples of unifying for benefit of all agriculture are the AgChat FoundationFarm American , the Farm American Website and Know A California Farmer.

Example 7: Farmers and ranchers are “stuck in the mud” believing that the public is “out to get them.” It’s time to “lock in four-wheel drive” and recognize that the public simply wants transparency and have genuine questions in their quest for understanding. Always remain positive in all conversations, expect the best, be genuine, sincere, civil and professional.

I think we all recognize that “getting stuck in the mud” does not benefit anyone. When we are true to ourselves, we can consciously shift into four-wheel drive and achieve more, through more positive and productive means.

Most all of us work with family, friends and neighbors…it is time we expect the same of our government and the organizations we belong to.

  1. January 16, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    Wow, that was pretty deep. But you are so right, it seems we all get stuck in one mindset or attitude and we fail to see the bigger picture. With the New Year upon us, we all need to re-evaluate our auto-pilots and make course adjustments. Thanks for making us think!

    • commonsenseagriculture
      January 16, 2011 at 5:57 PM

      My pleasure. Thank you for the kind words and posting your thoughts!

  2. January 17, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    Jeff one of the mud holes we are stuck in is social media. While everyone is busy writing blogs, tweeting and being on facebook, just how many consumers outside of agriculture are we reaching? My question of the week, is would it be possible to consciously make an ag related event trend on Twitter? Could we make an ag related even go viral on the internet?

    If we can discover the answer to this, perhaps we could design ag related events to educate the consumer in a way which they would attend. I am gearing up to conduct just such an experiment. For details please visit

    Thanks Jeff!

    • commonsenseagriculture
      January 17, 2011 at 7:11 PM

      If you don’t mind, shoot me your phone # to I’d like to talk to you about your idea. We have done several campaigns over the past 16 months and there are a few things you ought to be aware of in terms of how to measure response. I look forward to your response.

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