This is not a big secret amongst my friends and family, but I love, love, love the city. Yes, I realize I am a farm wife and will probably be one until the end of my days, but hidden just below the surface of dirt on my vehicle thanks to my country road is a girl who craves the lights of the city; its hectic pace; and, of course, the shopping.
So when I was asked to attend another Moms Meet-Up in Chicago this past weekend, I jumped, strike that LEAPT, at the chance! Even better, the event fell upon a weekend where we were neither harvesting nor calving, so my husband could come, too, and did I mention 3 of my four kids were with one grandma, and my parents were in the city as well, so babysitting was available for our baby, too?
Anyway, I am really excited and passionate about this relationship we are forging between farmers and consumers, and after our first Moms Meet-Up this summer, I have been talking about being a part of this again if the opportunity arose. I came home from my first Moms Meet Up feeling like I could spread the story of my life on the farm to the entire world. Through good, meaty discussions along with aha! moments (both from the city and farm moms), excellent connections were made, and I was pumped.
So, as I readied myself (most importantly with a good outfit!) for this event just this past Sunday, my expectations were sky-high. However, as I watched the moms trickle in, counting the heads of the city moms in attendance, and realizing it was less than before, I was initially disappointed. I am passionate about this plight. I am ready to tell my story. As a mom, I can relate to the Field Moms because we all want to care for our children the best we can. However, when it comes to food, in this world of sometimes information overload, how do you know what is the right or true information? I truly believe that this relationship between the Field Moms and the farmers is an awesome way to close this disconnect.
That is what happened on Sunday. In the midst of this big, beautiful city, we farmers- who are generally more comfortable in tractor cabs than taxi cabs- sat down with the city moms, engaging in easy conversation about our lives, our livelihood, something we are so passionate about. This meet up allowed the city moms to not only hear the perspectives from one or two farm families, but farmers who not only raise corn and soybeans, but cattle, dairy cows, and hogs. We farmers were able to better explain ourselves and demonstrate the similarities between our farms, similar fears and concerns, and even demonstrate how alike we all are, even if we raise different animals and crops hundreds of miles from each other.
It was fascinating. This opportunity on Sunday truly showed that whether it’s farmer to farmer or city mom to farmer, we are all the same. We are all out here trying to care for our families as best as we can. Whether our commute to work is by train or taxi or dualie pick up truck, we’re all a bunch of folks hoping to do right in the world, whether its raising kids in the city or crops in the country.
I love being a part of these Mom Meet-Ups. I love sharing my story because there are times I can’t believe that I’m living where I do! I hope to keep telling my story to all who will listen, and hope that I can keep coming up to the city to enjoy all that it has to offer!
Emily Webel is a farmer’s wife, mother of four, runner, former teacher, and author of the blog, Confessions of a Farm Wife. She lives in Farmington, Illinois.