About three weeks ago I attended a leadership summit with fellow Organic Valley farmers. On the opening session of the summit, the key-note speaker spoke of community. Farmers need community. We learn from community, we get support from community and we grow with the community.
On Monday, Lisa and I took the kids out trick or treating. We visited all the neighbors around the farm. Neighbor is relative because we drove about two miles around the farm. It was so much fun. For many of these people, we were the only visitors of the night. Not only did the kids get a bunch of treats, Lisa and I got to visit with people we consider our community.
I remember doing this same thing when I was growing up. My dad would pile us kids into the truck and down the road we would go, stopping to chat at each “neighbors'” house. At the time, I recall being impatient and wanting to quickly get to the next stop to get more candy. Now, I realize the values my dad was teaching us.
On Monday, after we visited the farm neighbors, the kids and I came back to the neighborhood where we live. The trick or treating scene was much different. Here kids ran door to door gathering as much candy as they could, without much of a hello or thank you. It was not about community.
Being a part of a community is important to us and we want to raise our kids to share in these values.
Who do you consider your community? Neighbors? Friends? People of similar interests? Please share with us.