Sitting at a volleyball tournament for a whole day can get just a little boring unless you bring some reading material for the down time.
Nearly every dad who walked into that gym had a magazine or newspaper in their hand and when their daughter wasn't playing they were caught leaning back in the bleachers with their paper in front of their faces catching up on the news of the day. My husband was no different. He wasn't reading USA Today, but the local farm newspaper.
While watching one of the nine games, I heard a group of girls behind me (pictured above)talking about the "farm newspaper" sitting on the bleachers in front of them. Not knowing I was eavesdropping on their conversation they talked freely about how funny this farm paper was. One of them said, "Look, there's a farm paper, oh my gosh, can you believe it? What? Is it delivered every morning to like five people? That is so funny!" Giggle, giggle, giggle.
I couldn't pass up the opportunity to turn around and let this little gal straight. I jokingly said, "There are more than five people who work everyday to feed you! We are dairy farmers and we get up everyday to milk the cows so you can have milk for your cereal in the morning." She was instantly embarrassed and all her teammates started laughing. She started to apologize and I told her not to be sorry, but that I wanted her to know there is a whole industry full of people who read farm newspapers and they work very hard to provide food for the nation.
Then the whole team got in on the conversation telling me where they were from and that they had never been on a farm and didn't know anything about it. Of course I had my camera in hand and snapped a shot of them reading a the Michigan Farm Bureau Newspaper.
We had a great conversation and I spent the rest of the day cheering for my new little team. They were such sweet girls!
Enlightening ten 14 year old girls about where their food comes from took all of about 10 minutes and I gained a team full of friends from the suburbs of Detroit. Hopefully they will think of me when they pour their next glass of chocolate milk or dive into a bowl of ice cream. Telling our story is what it's all about!
As a side note, I was asking these girls if they had ever been on a farm, they said no, but their coach was married to a man who grew up on a dairy farm. As it turns out, their coach is Allie (Hoard) Ferry, the wife of Scott Ferry who grew up in Hillsdale County and is in the process of taking the farm over from his mom and late father, Harold Ferry who suddenly passed away last fall from a heart attack. Allie's mom is Cindy Hoard who I worked with at the Farmers' Advance back in the late 80s! What a small world!