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"Working together we harvest solar energy with grass grown on healthy soil to sustainably produce delightful food that nourishes people and strengthens our community."

Americas Funk

Posted by Mark Grieshop on 1/31/2012 to A Word from Mark

American society is in some sort of funk these days. Whether it is struggling with unemployment, business challenges, moral issues, health issues, social issues, or personal life we just seem to be losing traction and cant put a finger on what the heck is going on. As often is the case, our problems are quite complex but the underlying solution to the problems I suggest is very simple. Were making things harder than they need to be and are all suffering as a result. Lets discover whats got us in this funk and what we what we must do to get out of it.

Our experiences give us perspective. President Reagans experience as a union steward for the Actors Guild helped shape his perspective in effectively bring the Cold War to an end. President Obamas work as a community organizer gave him perspective on challenges the struggling poor face. Without their experiences their credibility would be minimized and historys record of the changes affected by these leaders would be much different.

Similarly, by virtue of my own experiences as an airline-pilot-union-employee simultaneously working as a business executive leading Pastures Delights I am blessed with a rich perspective that only such dichotomous experiences could provide. After all, how many traveling pilots do you know who are leading an organization of 12 people that operates a REAL-milk dairy and diversified livestock farm that is direct marketing and distributing to customers? Most farmers believe the farm will fall apart if theyre not there. It goes to show that doesnt necessarily have to be the case. Ill be the first to acknowledge, however, we have a long ways to go for this to be recognized as a success. As you can imagine the challenge is immense, made even more difficult with this funk affecting our country today.

Everyone wants to blame the President, Washington insiders, over-paid CEOs, unions, their boss, parents, or their neighbors dog for their problems. While they may or may be part of the problem, no single person or entity is the root of the problem. The root of any problem lies with us. You are the problem. I am the problem. And WE are the SOLUTION!

Typically we are just scratching the surface to find the closest thing that is causing a problem, and stop there. We need to dig deeper, to the bottom. So, lets grab a shovel, pick a problem and start digging. There is rule of thumb of asking why 5 times to get to the real source of a problem. Lets keep asking why, take a scoop out to uncover the next answer, then ask why again and take another scoop out. Eventually youre going to reach the root of the problem. If we do this with several problems, starting at the top and digging down or as we uncover this root we see that the same root gives rise to most if not all of our other problems.

As a Pasture Bites subscriber, you are observant and already adept to asking why? Why are girls beginning puberty so early? Why are so many people fat? Why am I fat? Why are people sick and unhealthy? Why am I sick? Why am I getting allergies from processed dairy? Why does the FDA care so much about peoples desire to consume raw dairy? Why am I not fulfilled with my job? Why do CEOs make so much even when their company is floundering? What is happening to America? What is happening to our society? Why?

As I keep asking why in trying to find answers to various struggles I deal with in managing Pastures Delights I am discovering the same root of my struggles is also the same root of your struggles. From my perspective as a Christian, American citizen who is an employee and a business owner/operator, I unequivocally believe that it is our collective loss of understanding and adherence to the principles of personal freedom and personal response-ability that is the root that gives rise to most, if not all, of our problems.

While the solution action to our problems is simple, the reason it is simple is so big and complex I can barely get my head around it at times, so there is no way I can begin to explain it all in one Pasture Bites newsletter. So what I plan to do is break it down into bite-size pieces that you will be better able to digest through more frequent forthcoming Pasture Bites newsletters. Well discuss the ethanol mandate, unemployment, regulations and even how various social concerns are actually all intertwined and share the same root that is causing the nasty funk we are experiencing today.

To understand where I am coming from I believe it is important we try to appreciate the experiences of our Founding Fathers that provided them the perspectives rich with wisdom that allowed them to put together a system for our American society that would allow it to prosper. With their vision of the American Dream of pursuing happiness, there is a reason why they chose the principle of freedom and responsibility as the cornerstone upon which was laid the rest of the framework for how our society would work so that it would be successful and sustainable. We must then ask when any government leader supports something contrary to the principles and plan of the Founding Fathers, what is their experience or perspective? Does their perspective afford them better qualified judgment than that of the Founding Fathers in promoting a sustainable society?

Now, you may be asking what does all this have to do with Pastures Delights and growing healthy food. The truth of the matter is the root of the struggles Pastures Delights is contending with is also the root of your struggles. Continuing to work hard as we will, it will only be when we work together in addressing the root cause of our problems will all of us gain the traction that will drive America out of its funk.

Next Pasture Bites: Critical Thinking

Before we get to discussing any particular problem source, such as the ethanol mandates effect on your food prices, we should first talk about critical thinking, because we really cant figure this all out unless our critical thinking skills are sharpened and turned on.

I hope your 2012 is off to a great start, and by thinking, loving, and working we all finish this year as winners!

Farmer Mark Grieshop
Pastures Delights

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