Lord I’m Twisted

On the flight home from Chicago to Sacramento on Sunday, I was listening to my iPod when the song Twisted, by Colt Ford came on. I have listened to this song more times than I can remember, but this time I actually heard the lyrics and it was profound how it related to what I have been mulling about in my own mind recently.

Lord, I’m twisted, I feel the stress that’s hangin’ on me,
And all this pain in my family – they all depend on me.
Lord, I’m twisted, I feel the stress that’s hangin’ on me,
And all the pain in my family – they all depend on me.
Lord, I’m twisted. yeah. Lord, I’m twisted. oh yeah
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know
If I should wait or should I go, I just don’t know


Family farmers, foresters and ranchers are enduring an onslaught of challenges: Increased input costs, onerous federal and state regulations, biased mainstream media stories and attacks from elitist activists with agendas ranging from the redistribution of resources, the elimination of animal agriculture and strong opposition to the integration of technology in modern agriculture. Combine these pressures with the reluctance of agricultural organizations to come together and unify for the benefit of all agriculture. The opposition has stood at distance as they watched the infighting and fragmentation within agriculture, finding opportune moments to slip in and deal quick slices. It has been the proverbial death of a thousand cuts.

Family agriculture is feeling the pressure and being faced with heart wrenching decisions. Increases in input costs, fees and regulations, consecutive years without being able to generate a profit have led to many finding supplemental income from off the farm, discouraging sons and daughters from returning to the farm and ultimately leading to sell out.

Emotionally, todays economic environment is a rollercoaster. It makes for challenging times in the home and on the farm and ranch. Lately, it seems like I’ve been doing a bit more praying than usual, seeking guidance and peace of mind.

When I walked in the door last Sunday night, and was met with a big bear hug from my four-year old son, God gave me my “Ah Ha!” moment. First and foremost, my family is together and healthy. Then, like a flash, I realized what had been accomplished over the past year in terms of Agvocacy. I am in awe, over how much the community has grown and how the voices of agriculture are coming together in a choir.

AgChat Foundation was created to help those who produce food, fuel, fiber and feed tell agriculture’s story from their point of view. The Foundation educates and equips farmers and ranchers with the skill sets needed to effectively engage on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, YouTube, Linkedin and other social media services. It gives those in agriculture the knowledge to unlock new tools to effectively tell their story.

Friends of America’s Heartland understand people are becoming further and further removed from where and how their food is produced. At the same time, there is increased conversation around food production and its effect on the environment, people and animal health, the economy, and more. We — as farmers, ranchers and advocates for agriculture — want to do our part to share the story of what, how and why we do the things we do on the farm. This story includes the miracles of innovation and the heritage practices passed down through the generations. That’s why we are celebrating the successes of America’s Heartland and are working to see it continue for years to come.

Farm American Project Detergents, mattresses, solvents, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, latex gloves, furniture, antifreeze, upholstery, clothing, crayons, textbooks, pencils, desks, ink, film and food.  The complete list is much longer than this, but the list doesn’t exist at all without the families of American agriculture. All of these items, all of these categories, are products of American agriculture. And all of them are a part of your everyday life. We think the story behind these products should be a part of your everyday life as well. That’s why Farm American is out to raise awareness and raise funds. Simple as that. The more American agriculture’s story is told, the more you’ll want to help tell that story.

Know A California Farmer Get to know your food, flowers and fiber by getting to know the people behind them. Meet the real farmers and ranchers from across California who grow the things that make life possible.

U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance represents more than 20 of the leading farmer and rancher led agricultural organizations. These organizations have joined together to fund programs that bolster the image of agriculture and enhance public trust in our food supply.

In addition, it is awe inspiring to see the growing number of Agvocates across the country, who are passionately sharing their stories: Troy Hadrick, Ray Prock, Nanci Grossi, Jan Hoadley, Darin Grimm, Emily Zweber, Chris Chinn, Mike Haley, Rachel Vermillion  and Debbie Lyons, just to name a few.

Thank you Lord, for “un-twisting” me.

  1. Denise
    March 3, 2011 at 5:48 AM

    Coming together is so important. Don’t make the mistake purebred dog folks have made (I’m a purebred dog owner, exhibitor, and breeder). We spent so much time fighting ‘puppy mills’ that we missed the big picture. H$U$ and their allies are coming for ALL of us. They’re well organized, they have a lot of money, and the media goes to them constantly as the “experts.” They’ve never “enslaved” a dog, dirtied their hands in agriculture, and they’re the experts??? And don’t forget all the famous spokesmouths they have. We are all playing catch up and we better catch up pretty darn quick if we want to maintain our rights as animal owners. Yes…OWNERS.

  2. March 3, 2011 at 6:38 AM

    Thanks so much for the mention. Sometimes even when we’re making progress it doesn’t seem like it when we’re busy. Had one of those moments yesterday looking at month old chicks, so different from fuzzy chicks they arrived. They’re “young ladies” now and yet in the mix of feeding/planing/watering/breeding…life…it seems nothing happens when in reality until we look in the rear view mirror at where we started we don’t see the trailer pulling behind. The twisty days are all too common

  3. 190degrees
    March 3, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    Nice job, Jeff.

  4. Sheryl Valentiner
    March 3, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    As you know, I’m “just” a consumer who’s been following the #ag foundation on Twitter. I was intrigued to follow after I saw the documentary “Food, Inc.”. I was interested in the other side of the food story. Additionally, there were ballot measures here in Arizona being pushed by HSUS against hog and other farmers regarding the care of their livestock. Suffice it to say, there was a great deal I did not know, and many things I had to learn. Following you and others on Twitter continually helps me understand that the issues are not monolithic, as they are so often presented in the media and by animal an environmental activists. Learning from those who actually farm and ranch helps me inform my own social circle about “the other side of the story”. So thanks for taking the time to blog and tweet, in addition to all the other responsibilities you have…like earning a living and caring for your family.

    • Ash Lee
      March 3, 2011 at 10:51 AM

      I applaud you Sheryl! I am so happy that you have taken the time to research this and to ‘get to know’ the farmers involved. We aren’t giant factory farms and we love our animals. We have to support not only our families and the animals we have but the people who rely on us for food. It’s a big burden but one we shoulder proudly because we make a difference in this world every day we go out and feed our critters. So I tip my hat to you for standing up and deciding to research this yourself.

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