Three seconds left in the fourth quarter and the kicker is in place. The excited announcer bellows “he drops, he punts, and it is outside the goal posts”. The opposing team starts their celebration and the home team sulks into the locker room. My husband starts the normal routine of how stupid that coach was not running the ball, he should have never picked that kicker in the first draft, I hear the words idiot, stupid and incompetent before I tune him out. I remind him the high six figure salary demonstrated that someone, other than my armchair quarterback with his Fantasy Football Team, had confidence in the coach’s abilities!
We know it is the beer and peanuts talking when the husbands start the raving. Their only experience is putting together plays for the yearly turkey bowl. A comedy of errors when a couple dozen balding beer-bellied wannabe football stars take over the vacant lot at the end of the street, trash talking like they spend every day in the locker room and turned down offers for the major leagues in favor of the daily grind! The day usually ends with a trip to the ER for at least one out-of-shape player that got a bit too zealous and stoked a finger, pulled the hamstring or the occasional broken wrist. They are weekend warriors gathering stories to tell over the water cooler on Monday.
Armchair Quarterbacks rival the Facebook Farmers. They read all the books – Omnivore’s Dilemma, Animal Vegetable Miracle and renew their subscription every year to Mother Earth News. Throw in the three “f’s of Fresh, Farmageddon and Food Inc for good measure. Few understand the huge difference between the small family farm and a factory farm. From the feed to the care, the comparisons are slim. Our goats live a luxurious retirement life once they have hit their geriatric years – which certainly is an epic fail in the efficient business category. We avoid the use of chemicals and we care for our animals as if they were our children. After 14 years, we have used antibiotics three times for our goats, all life threatening situations. And most of all, we use our products and have the same goals they have – healthy food raised humanely.
Like the Armchair Quarterback, the Facebook Farmer talks good farming, is a whiz in Farmville, but when were they last hands-on at a farm? At one time we took on the occasional volunteer. They invariably showed up in flip flops, the obligatory straw hay, sometimes a pair of overalls and looking like they were ready for a cover shoot for Hobby Farmer magazine. Occasionally a visitor shows up and sees my dirty t-shirt pulling double duty for gathering eggs and I get a look of disdain. The buck in rut is slobbering over the fence in a hormonal frenzy and they want to know what is wrong with him? Nothing at all, he is just being a man – a goat man!
I always recommend to the Facebook Farmers. Want to know how a farm is run? Get immersed – and not from reading books or watching movies or the latest farmers’ status updates. Get chickens for your back yard. Become a 6 month intern for your local farmer – and no, they don’t pay $10 an hour or give you free products – you work and the education you earn is one you can’t buy. Urban farming involves business savvy, coupled with some tough love, add a huge dose of animal husbandry, a smattering of amateur geneticist and most of all, the day laborer. The farmer can’t boast that same high salary of the football coach, nor the subsidies of the factory farmer, but they get paid in something better than money – a sense of accomplishment no Facebook Farmer will ever feel in Farmville!