“The hippie organic farmers and…more conventional farmers” These are the words that come out of my mouth during a Zoom focus group for the Midwest Healthy Ag Project. These are not the words I would have chosen if I were in the more thoughtful, less anxious mode of writing. I’m describing a dichotomy I see, regrettably not articulating it very well. Among a gallery of “conventional” dairy farmers, I’m the only organic vegetable producer. I squirm as I listen to them use words like “natural” and “sustainable” to describe their farms and repeat the familiar rhetoric of the “feed the world” campaign. As a writer and a farmer, I find these words woefully ambiguous, duplicitous, and misleading. Downright hard to stomach, especially swallowing my own.

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