Curiosity: A New Year’s Resolution

Many resources are available to help landowners become better stewards. (Courtesy photo)

By Sarah Blaney

Confession. I am awful at New Year’s resolutions. Exercise more, write hand-written letters, worry less, be patient, finally visit that family member.

In an ideal world, we would set these goals, write them down on a piece of paper and go to work on accomplishing them.

The truth is, though, life is not as easy or as clean as wanting to do something and just going out and making it happen.

We have cows to wrangle, kids to wrangle, bills to pay and the never ending mouths to feed.

Changing how we do things, why we do things, and who we are is incredibly difficult. It takes a lot of time, sometimes even years, to make a change and then it can take even more time to see real benefits from that change. It makes no difference if what you are changing is how often you exercise or how often you move your cattle herd, it takes time.

I could write a whole essay on why making conservation minded changes to your operation will save you more money, renew your passion for agriculture and preserve the planet for another generation, but that is all too much, isn’t it?

So instead of trying to convince you to make 25 changes to take your operation from traditional cultivation to regenerative agriculture, I am going to make a simple proposal to you; take on learning more about conservation through doing only one of the following this year and see where it takes you.

Maybe it’s reading a new book, watching a video or scrolling on Pinterest.

It could be as easy or sometimes as difficult as having a conversation with your neighbor about practices they have adopted. Your one new thing could be to attend a field day, conference or workshop in your area.

The point is make a resolution to be curious. If you are 100 percent happy with what you are doing, how much money you are making on your operation, the amount of time you are spending on tasks, then maybe this resolution is not for you.

But, if you think there is room for all of us to be better stewards of the land and water, if you’re not happy with continuing to put down more synthetic nutrients and herbicide every year, if you’re just tired of doing the same old thing and getting the same result – then I invite you to check out some of these excellent resources.

Change is hard, but this resolution to be curious is easy.