Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Hope In A Jar

I want to buy hope in a jar. Old Spice offers dreamy hope in a jar. Lottery tickets are hope in the shape of a slip of paper. There are diet pills or exercise tools that yield great bodies in minutes a day. Paper towels make your home sparkle while you swoosh through the kitchen. Everyone wants to sell us hope in a jar.

The thing is, the hope feels so very good. It’s the promise of possibility, of a brighter and better tomorrow. Today is great, right now, but tomorrow is wide open.

For farmers, what if we could buy something that would increase yields? Hope comes in sacks and bins and shiny new tractors, too. Reduce labor costs? Improve quality? Boost profits? I’m already standing in line with my wallet out!

Before making the purchase, though, I have to remember to stop and ask questions: What is the problem? Will this fix it?  Can I afford it?

When someone tells me that the fertilizer/tool/hope will “pay for itself”, I wonder: since when did inanimate objects started getting issued checking accounts? I will pay for it, thank you very much. If it’s worthwhile, if it does what it says it does, then profits will return that cost to me. But the bills all go to my mailbox first, so I have to be ready to ante up.

Does hope in a jar work? Some does. There might be proof. Or, in absence of evidence, sometimes it’s promising enough to be worth trying out.

Maybe it doesn’t cost too much, or risk too much. Check it out online, ask someone you trust. Send us an email; we’re insatiably curious and we can look into it! When you are ready to step up and try something new, dream it, study it, plan it. Then, remember that “Fortune favors the bold.” and “Luck favors the prepared.”




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Rachel Gilker
Rachel Gilker
Rachel's interest in sustainable agriculture and grazing has deep roots in the soil. She's been following that passion around the world, working on an ancient Nabatean farm in the Negev, and with farmers in West Africa's Niger. After returning to the US, Rachel received her M.S. and Ph.D. in agronomy and soil science from the University of Maryland. For her doctoral research, Rachel spent 3 years working with Maryland dairy farmers using management intensive grazing. She then began her work with grass farmers, a source of joy and a journey of discovery.

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