This is a great time of year to be a farmer! I love feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. I enjoy hearing the birds sing each morning as I go outside to do chores. I love how the earth smells after a rain, but fresh cut hay is the best perfume ever smelled by an old farmer!

Farmers in North Central Iowa are getting ready to make their first cutting of hay. Most of them have their crops in the ground and have moved their attention from planting to scouting crops for weeds and disease. The wet, cool spring conditions made prime conditions made the weeds grow like, well weeds!

LarryCristen presentIn spite of all the work there is to be done on the farm at this time of year, it’s still a busy meeting season. I’ve written before that winter is the meeting the season, but meetings seem to have branched out to year around.

This week I’m part of a panel discussion at the National Pork Board office in Des Moines. Cristen Clark, who blogs at Food and Swine, and I have been invited to share some of our experiences with a group of new leaders, who also raise pigs. The theme of this week’s leadership training session is, “If not you, who?”

It’s important for real pig farmers to tell their farm stories because consumers want to know about how their food is produced. I can’t blame them because food is a very personal choice. Although most of us don’t eat what we should, we all want to think we are eating as healthy as possible! If the folks who raise the food don’t share what they are doing, then someone else will tell their story. Who will tell the farm story… a computer programmer? a TV doctor? a food blogger?

No one can tell the pork story better than a pig farmer! This group of farmers with whom Cristen and I spoke will also attend the World Pork Expo, June 3-5, on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. This three-day event brings together folks from all over the world to learn the newest and greatest ideas about everything piggy.

This year I’m not obligated to any duties at the World Pork Expo. I’m free to watch the pig judging and the pig races. I can attend seminars to learn the latest technology. It could spend days visiting all the booths displaying everything from new knee boots and the latest computer programs to wind turbines and natural fertilizer haulers.

Food blogger and farmer Cristen Clark presents a signed copy of a cookbook to "Musings of a Pig Farmer" blogger Larry Sailer

Food blogger and farmer Cristen Clark presents a signed copy of a cookbook to “Musings of a Pig Farmer” blogger Larry Sailer

As much as I enjoy all of these things, the best part of World Pork Expo is getting to see friends. I’ve made many dear friends during the 30 years I’ve been involved with pork organizations and activities like Operation Main Street.

I’ve made many more friends through my involvement in social media. I’ve been known to travel the state – and even out of state – to deliver a free speech. Some people wonder why…

If not me, then who? If I don’t tell my farm story, someone else will and I may not like it! If you’re a farmer, ask yourself what can you do to tell your farm story. If you’re a consumer with questions, talk to a farmer!