Best of FarmFemmes: Connected, Protected, Respected

Originally posted in March 2017 with a follow up post in May 2018

A family business has a unique set of dynamics – everyone is trying to balance their roles as both a family member and as a business partner.  I recently heard the motto “Connected, Protected, Respected” and it really spoke to me. In order to have a happy family and a sustainable farming operation I need to make sure that I am attending to each of those things.  Each of those words can mean many different things, so here is what they mean to me, for my farm and my family:

Connected

To me, this means that I recognize that we are all one unit, working together for our collective good.

  • I facilitate communication between employer and employee.

  • I facilitate communication between the generations.

  • I facilitate communication between the trainees and their family and friends.

  • I make sure that my kids feel connected to farm life.


Protected

To me, this means that I have a responsibility for the safety and wellbeing (physical and mental) of all of the members of my farm family.

  • I am a protector of our farm’s good reputation in the way that I choose to do business and make operational choices.

  • I am the protector of family time.

  • I am the chief safety officer.


Respected

To me, this means that I know that we all have a role to play.  I know my role and my strengths and try to use those strengths to the betterment of our family and of our farm.  I also know my weaknesses and I hope that I can use the strengths of others to help navigate through the areas where I need help.  I expect that our family farm relationships hinge on give-and-take that changes with the seasons, but that everyone is respected for what they can contribute.

  • I say please and thank you for the jobs that I need help with.

  • I recognize jobs well done.

  • I respect time, curiosity and effort.

Connected, Protected, Respected – that is how I would like to view our family and our farming operation.