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Posts Tagged ‘livestock’

Her Llama invitation

“I want to have a llama program and llamas for bring a friend night,” my daughter, the new president of an urban 4-H club, told the planning committee last fall.

A city girl turned Future Farmers of America member who participates with a Livestock Club and raises backyard chickens, she wants to study agriculture. After seeing a llama program last year, she’s been obssessed with them.

I stayed out of her way to see what she would do.

She asked the church hosting our meeting’s permission. They said yes.

She scheduled the llama lady. Then she messaged the head leader it was set.

I called to give him warning before he saw her email. Dead silence on the phone. “She told us she wanted it in the planning meeting,” I explained.

“But I didn’t think she was serious!” he answered.

“You’ve known her for years. If you don’t tell her no, she does what she decides. If you do tell her no, she may still do it,” I told him.

I knew the girl who designed her 5th birthday cake with an erupting volcano on a Pacific island filled with palm trees, with cowboys and Indians fighting in canoes off the coast didn’t joke. (Yes, I decorated it.)

The church called. Because the meeting room had carpet, they wanted tarp on the floor.  She assured them and me that the llamas wouldn’t poop indoors. And she packed our tarp.

She drew a llama graphic and created a Facebook event so members could invite friends.

As we spread the tarp, I gasped in panic that it was close to a denim couch. “Won’t they eat the denim couch cushions?” I asked.

“Mother. Llamas are related to camels, not goats,” she admonished me in her strictest voice.

I shut the classroom door, worried the llamas would get loose and charge through the church halls.

Meeting time began. The llamas stayed on the tarp. They did not escape. They did not eat the denim couch. And they did not poop indoors.

And several kids brought friends.

Huge sigh of relief.

A leadership lesson smacked me when it was over.

If we want to groom teen leadership skills in a changing world, sometimes we have to give them space to try their outside the box ideas.

Some fail. Others work. All teach lessons.

Don’t worry. Be happy.

Hakuna ma-llama!

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Chickens

If we want to eat locally grown food, we need to let locals grow food.

Locally, it may get more complicated with the proposed merger of Evansville and Vanderburgh County. 

Evansville was once rural.  Sixty years ago, my neighborhood, now in the center of town, was cornfields. We still have family farms outside city limits, in the county.  

If the merger happens, those family farms could be at risk. If merger proponents fail to acknowledge the right of local farmers to farm, they will face tough opposition from farmers and their families.

They will also face opposition from city folk like me who believe in local food and free enterprise.

This impacts real local families – such as the following:

  1. Some local teens raise chickens to sell eggs for their college fund. What if that family’s been adversely impacted by the recession and relies on that egg money to purchase food? What happens if they get restricted to the 6 bird city ordinance? Do families lose an income source?
  2. 

  3. Several older families are the last holdout on the family farm. Most of the land was sold to developers, but they still have the homestead and farm a little. Imagine a retired couple who raise enough corn and other crops to feed extended family. They donate surplus produce in the summer to local food banks. If we make them stop, we remove local, fresh produce from their family – and the poorest of our poor.
  4. Imagine a large operation dairy farmer. The whole family gets involved in the milking and caring of cows – whether nursing a sick cow through a heat wave or tending the herd during an ice storm. If city ordinances restricts their business, a family loses its heritage and livelihood. Our county loses the income from the sale of milk.  

Our nation was built by families who wanted a place to raise their families and tend their farms in freedom. We may not have as many farms now as we once did, but let’s protect the ones we still have.

We cannot grow local food if the merger kills farmers  with 1,000 city ordinances.

What can you do?

Attend the next city-county merger meeting and support the rights of local farmers to grow local food!

Civic Center, December 16, 5:30 p.m.

Let our farmers grow!!

 

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