April 25 2024 10:03 AM

Farmers think about what’s best for their land more than one day a year.

The world recently celebrated Earth Day, but farmers celebrate it every day. There is no other profession as closely linked to the earth as farming. I know we feel deeply the privilege it is to care for this globe of ours.

Environmental stewardship has been a buzzword in recent decades, but it’s a concept that is far from new to farmers. We know if we don’t care for the land, there’s no way it will return to us what we need in crops for ourselves and our animals.

How this conversation has become demonized toward farming always breaks my heart. How can anyone look at the number of cars on the road each day or planes in the sky and want to blame our global issues on cows? It is frustrating, to say the least.

Yes, we do need to own that we have an impact. And I am glad that we are making forward strides on how we can positively affect the issue. Any industry becomes stagnant when they won’t invest in new ideas or in the research that can advance any area for good.

But I think the biggest impact may come in how we continue to share our narrative in all that we are doing for the environment. We can talk about the positive changes we are striving for as the dairy industry and back up those facts with the stories of generations of deep love of the land we are honored to get to farm on. Yes, Earth Day is every day for farmers.

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of young sons who round out the family-run operation as micromanagers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.