The look the guy gave me when I told him that I was a seed sales representative was priceless. I had to hold in the giggles.
“Like…grass seed?” he asked, very confused. When I clarified that it was vegetable seed, it didn’t seem to clear up anything. I think he would’ve been less shocked if I told him I was a Caribbean pirate resurrected from Davy Jones’ locker, just trying to figure out modern life.
So I asked him if he had any interest in vegetable seed. He shook his head and said “No, I’ve just never met anyone from that industry.” And the way he said it, with so much disbelief, I knew he was referring to agriculture in general.
On the one hand, we were in a town not far removed from a fair amount of farmland, both crops and animal. On the other hand, that same town is mostly a commuter community for Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.
While history may try and say that almost everyone has some connection to a farm due to the amount of people who used to be involved in agriculture, history doesn’t always account for the exceptions that prove the rule. There are people whose family trees have always been rooted in urban areas. Generations of people have never had to leave the city and work land because of farmers. And generations of farmers have never had to build their own boots because of cobblers that tend to live in cities.
So while I felt a little bit like a zoo animal as this man tried to connect that something he understood in theory was sitting across the table in real life, it was probably good for both of us. I may have cleared up some of those stereotypes about farmers chewing on straw and wearing hats that have seen better days. He reminded me that there are those that may still believe milk comes from the grocery store.
The organizations and individuals who are working hard to educate kids and adults about life on the farm and where their food comes from are doing important work. Maybe then, more people who don’t have a personal connection to a farmer won’t put them in the same category as aliens.