April 22 2020 03:12 PM

Can’t we just be kind and supportive of each other?

At this point, if you’re on social media, you’ve seen the awful comments left by activists on farmers’ posts. They range from a hateful comment on a post about how antibiotics are used on a farm to a condescending comment on an uplifting post about how excited a farmer was to save a sick, young calf.

But then there’s another set of comments that get my blood boiling even more. A private message tells an agvocate that he or she shouldn’t be sharing about farming because they’re “not a real farmer” since they also work off the farm. It goes even further to a sexist comment directed at a female farmer about how ridiculous it is that she does her hair and wears makeup while she works. Or worse, the comment telling her that she would actually be pretty if she did do her hair and put on some makeup. In the last week, I’ve seen all of these comments left by other farmers on fellow farmers' social media posts.

Let me make this super easy for you . . . stop it!

Why? Do you think you’re helping? Do you think that by publicly arguing with or putting down another farmer that makes you look like a better farmer? Is it really important to you that women either look extra pretty or extra plain when they work? If so, can you maybe make us up a set guidelines because we’re very confused.

Recently, I read a post where farmers were arguing over who had it worse during this COVID-19 quarantine! I wanted to punch them all in the face.

It makes me sad to know that there are people in this world who need to make others feel like they’ve lost just to feel like they themselves have won. No, it makes me feel sad that there are farmers who think like that.

Aren’t we supposed to be better than that? In everything we say and do, we hold ourselves at an impossibly high standard, but then we sit down in front of the TV or at the table and open our social media apps. Then, just like the rest of humanity, we become no better than the Scum of the Earth.

I expect better. You’re a farmer. Live up to it.

Jessica Peters

The author dairies in partnership with her parents and brother at Spruce Row Farm in Pennsylvania. Jessica is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, and since 2015, she has been active in promoting dairy in her local community. You can find her and her 250 Jersey cows on Facebook at Spruce Row Dairy or on Instagram at @seejessfarm.