Peer-to-peer discussions are valuable for many reasons. It is important to learn about other perspectives, priorities and values and it is interesting to me when this information comes through in a discussion about farming practices. After participating in a focus group hosted by Precision Land Solutions I left feeling energized and positive about the future of farming.
My biggest take-away from the conversations today was this: Farmers are concerned with being good stewards of the land. Regardless of what motivates this priority, it was very evident that farmers are invested in practicing environmental stewardship and environmental sustainability. This was evident in the fact that we took time out of our usual schedules to participate, and evident in the content of the conversations.
Water management has a huge impact on soil health, and naturally, soil health is a large factor in determining crop health. Therefore, farmers make time to learn and navigate the laws and regulations, obtain permits and complete paperwork. This also means investing in conversations with neighbours and spending money on infrastructure, in order to improve soil health. Solution-oriented, peer-to-peer conversations help each of us to reflect on our practices and learn from others. Although PLS commissioned this focus group to ensure that their vision and services align with farmer needs, the conversations were just as valuable to each of the producers in the room.
I learned about land and water resource management, and of equal benefit was the positive energy and optimism of the conversation. Spring is in the air and we can’t wait to get started on another crop year.