Better Than Circling the Wagons

Circle the wagons… An expression “…traditionally used by 19th century American settlers traveling to the West in convoys of Conestoga wagons. When faced with attack, such as by hostile Native American tribes, the travelers would rapidly form a circle out of their wagons, bringing the [vulnerable]… to the center of the circle….This tactic was popularly known as “circling up the wagons”, and survives into the modern day as an idiom describing a person or group preparing to defend themselves from attack or criticism.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laager I was especially drawn to the last sentence, “…and survives into the modern day as an idiom describing a person or group preparing to defend themselves from attack or criticism.” Every week I talk to farmers who are on the defense, and many are some of the best conservation farmers I know.  When they hear leaders in the ag industry say we need to do more, these conservation farmers immediately feel the need to circle the wagons. And if it’s not a farmer, it’s someone from the ag industry who feels they too must circle the wagons to defend agriculture as a whole. I hear the following claims: • We are doing a much better job than we used to do. • Farmers are doing conservation; you ought to come see my farm. • America’s farmers are the original conservationists who take great pride in the stewardship of the land. Why would any farmer intentionally do something to cause soil e

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