Thursday, February 2, 2012

Natures Harmony rant, feb 2nd, 2012

[From Tim Young, over at Natures Harmony farms -- posted on his blog and deleted a few weeks later.  I've added links to entries I've written about people he refers to here so that you can see what he's talking about., tim young, liz young.     ]

Lifting People Up vs. Putting Them Down

Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 01:32PM

Our final blog post was just under a year and a half ago.  Today I've decided not to restart the blog, but to do a special post on a subject that concerns me.  Infuriates me! It involves a farmer in Washington named Bruce who loves to bad mouth people, and I've had enough.

Actually, he seems to be less of a farmer and more of a person who has a hate camp disguised as a farm.  Over the years he has repeatedly and quite viciously attacked not only Nature's Harmony Farm, but both my gracious wife Liz and myself, since he always mentions us by name.  Not content to stop there, he badmouths other wonderful voices in sustainable agriculture such as Walter Jefferies at Sugar Mountain Farm and Rebecca Thistlethwaite. Walter has probably done more with is blog at Sugar Mountain to help small farmers learn how to raise pigs than anyone. He graciously responded to several emails with helpful advice when we first started out and were naive rookies.  Likewise, Rebecca has written honestly, passionately and eloquently about people who are trying to farm the right way.  Rebecca and her husband Jim have visited and stayed on our farm and definitely are assets to agriculture. These writers, and many others in the agrarian movement, have written in a helpful and inspiring tone.  To the best of our ability, we have attempted to do the same.

And then there's Bruce.  For whatever reason, this man, whom I have not met, feels the need to act as the nation's one-man agrarian blogger police force, being the omniscient knower of all. Apparently he jealously reads blogs and looks for pounce points that he can attack, such as when he attempted to lure Walter into a stupid and public bet. Nevermind that Walter is on the other side of the country in a completely different market. Bruce seems to think that what Walter says and does is his business.

When Rebecca and Jim closed their farm at TLC Ranch (here's our podcast interview), Bruce chose to tell his world what went wrong. Without talking to them or interviewing them, as we did.  Of course, his conclusion was negative and once again the effect of his actions was to put people down.

And then there's his favorite target; us. The fact that he's never met us, never spoken to us does nothing to stop him from ranting lunatic opinions from 3,000 miles away.  He idiotically suggests that we have control over what people say about us on iTunes (we have about as much power to control that as we do Amazon's good and bad reviews on The Accidental Farmers).  He writes that we've stopped farming, even though we just finished a delivery and are producing more cheese and grass fed beef this year than ever.  He says we didn't allow bad comments on our blog, and yet many people responded unfavorably to some of our blog posts, such as the comments to the Parasites in Ram Flock posts a couple of years back.  He criticizes our classes such as the Farm School Business Class that we offered, even though we were very careful to outline the curriculum and set expectations with what we would discuss.  Both classes were completely filled. Did he discuss his views with us or any attendees?  No.  Perhaps an attendee of any of our classes/events (butchering, cheese making, farm school, etc.) can comment here...don't worry, if you have a negative review, I'll post it.  Unless you're Bruce King, who has worn out his welcome here.  Maybe someone will comment who has actually been here...who actually knows us.

Why This Post...Why Now

I observed his behavior in this regard a couple of years ago. Rather than get into a negative war of words on his website I simple wrote a post called A Tribute to Those Who Inspire. The aim was to get everyone trying (not proving to Bruce, mind you, but endeavoring) to be inspirational and helpful.  That is the reason why we do the Farm Dreams podcast and are involved with the site from time to time.  It's a community of people who are trying to help one another by showing what the can do and not offering harsh one-sided opinions masked as "objective critiques".

The presidential election campaigns this year are, once again, turning negative.  As much as a candidate may not want to get sucked into a discussion at some point they feel the need to set the record straight as they see it.  For the most part we ignore idiotic comments from a far but many people have brought them to our attention and asked how we feel about it. I can't speak for others that he has criticized on his blog, but for us and can flat out say he's wrong in his criticisms, he's made no effort to ask our views and the effect is to put people down. But with the Internet anyone with a keyboard can say something, link to your site and affect public perception.  So be it.  This post reflects my response to that and I'll say once again as I said in A Tribute to Those Who Inspire, let's just lift each other up instead of putting people down.

In the spirit of being positive rather than negative, let me confess that when Bruce isn't attacking people, he's capable of writing some fantastically helpful posts.  Like this multi-part post on how to build a corral.  Perhaps it would be more helpful to new/existing farmers if he stuck to those constructive posts and steered away from the destructive ones.

Thanks for listening. Just didn't get into sustainable farming and open our lives to others to deal with this garbage.

No comments: