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.

Drone Energy

Drone technology is more than cool… It has a lot of different agricultural uses, or potential uses.  Flying the drone has become a hobby that connects my farm family in a new, cool and engaging way.

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My parents have always been early adopters of technology - from being the first family in our area with a bag cell phone to now doing variable rate granular fertilizer applications, they have been eager to try new things.  I chose a university with a technology focus and then as a teacher, my instruction was technology rich. My parents really inspired and encouraged me to invest in a drone and start flying. My Dad gave me the technical know-how to get up in the air and after that the inspiration to continue comes from what I get to see!

When I fly, I can literally see for miles and look around at the fruits of our labour.  I can watch a crop grow and develop in a whole new way, which brings a whole new perspective to the amazing power, and beauty, of Nature.

And, then the energy is contagious…

  • My husband can scout fields differently

  • My girls know about drones before they are even in school

  • My sister makes crop production videos to share on YouTube

  • My nephews are pumped because they get to be involved with the farm in a modern way

  • My neighbour stops by to see what we are doing

  • A friend asks questions about a video we posted on social media

  • A follower tells me how to correct my shot exposure

And all of a sudden, a little drone flight creates a LOT of positive energy and ag-inspiration, for me and for a lot of other people too!

So maybe, in this case, flying actually helps me to showcase how I am #RootedInAg and #FlyingHigh at the same time.  Pretty cool!

Eye in the Sky

We got the chance to get some drone photos at Vallotton Farms and ran into a great problem - it was super sunny!  So, now I need to learn a bit more about how to change my exposure settings, but learning is fun when you are motivated by a real-world problem.  (Even on the last week of school, I still remember the principles of learning 101.)  

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All of our DJI drone and GoPro footage will turn into videos so we can share even more of our farm adventures with you - stay tuned.

Revisiting Connected, Protected, Respected

Connected, Protected, Respected was a motto I heard a while ago, and have posted about several times.  It resonates with me each time I go back to it – for different reasons and in different ways.  As seeding time arrives, it is a good reminder that we are striving to be a farm family that is Connected, Protected and Respected.

Connected

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

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.

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.

Connected, Protected, Respected also means that we all succeed together.  Deer Creek Farms and Vallotton Farms operations are both rooting for each other; both as operations and as individuals in those operations.  Family farms are why #farmlifeisthebestlife

Click here for the full-length, original Connected, Protected, Respected post (March 2017)

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One year ago...

One year ago I made a resolution to be an active Agvocate, and I feel really good about that resolution.  I am pretty sure that you can re-use resolutions, right? I am looking forward to another great year, and to using FarmFemmes as a platform to share the unique perspective of women in agriculture.

At the start of a new year we all re-evaluate our goals and priorities.  This year one of my goals is to become an Agvocate.  I grew up on a mixed farm and my parents are still farming.  I see the love and respect my parents have for the land, I know the values that farming promotes and I feel the energy my parents have as they try new techniques and technology.  Now, as a parent myself, I recognize the life lessons that farm life taught me and is teaching my children and I think that those values are important.  I decided that I wanted to help promote a lifestyle that I love.  Since we all need to eat and because I know ag isn’t for everyone I wanted to connect those who eat (everybody!) with an on-farm source of information.

I am by no means an agricultural expert.  I am an enthusiastic learner, mother, daughter, sister and wife.  As you explore around this site you will see the commitments that our farm makes to our community and to each other.  There are many ways to run a farm and many types of farming operations; there is no one “right way” to do things on a farm.  Especially a family farm.  Things get messy and complicated; the same people fill business roles and family roles and there are no hours of operation.  My goal for 2017 is to share some of what makes farming great, some of what makes it challenging and some of why we keep on trying to make a living off of the land.

Originally posted at Teresa's Blog on Vallotton Farms Ltd.