My daughter Beth and I will once again be part of Provider Pals, an organization designed to help urban kids learn about agriculture. The kids send us questions throughout the school year to learn more about what we do on the farm. A typical question we get is “What is it like to live on a farm?” I imagine that for a young child in downtown Minneapolis, a farm must seem like another country. Beth and I do our best to talk about the freedom we have on the farm and also the responsibilities. Growing up on a farm myself, I look back on my childhood and think of the wonderful opportunities to use my imagination and create things. Today, I encourage my kids to “figure it out” when there is a task that needs to be done, or a problem that needs to be solved.

It seems like the kids always want to know how many animals we have on our farm. 1000 pigs of various sizes always gets a “Wow” response and why not. If you don’t know anything about modern production, 1000 to a kid can seem like a million.

While this is a great opportunity to teach kids about pig farming, I can’t help but wish there was a way to tell our story to every urban kid so that they could get an accurate picture of agriculture. However, if we can help even a few kids understand more about today’s pig farmers, it’s better than none.