The first Earth Day I remember was in 1989, even though the movement started many years before that. What, you say? How could I remember a non-holiday so specifically? I remember it because it’s the day my barn cat turned house cat decided to bless us with three kittens — right in the middle of the living room floor.
In the years between now and then, Earth Day has been largely the domain of environmentalists reminding us all to conserve energy, go green (or go home?) and tread more lightly on the earth. These are all good and well sentiments, my friends, and I say we should, but this year, in 2013, I think something fantastic has happened. I think farmers, those who really are the largest caregivers of the earth, finally claimed Earth Day as their own.
The movement that has facilitated it, I believe, is the #FarmVoices campaign started by FarmOn.com, an Alberta-based group that has spearheaded a movement to spur young farmers to take to social media and post photos and videos of what they love about farming and what their future holds. Each of these posts would be connected by the #FarmVoices hashtag in the hopes that they would start a dialogue of not only the wonderful things about farming but also the challenges our young farmers face. (Click here for more on the #FarmVoices movement.)
Today, Earth Day, I watched as this hashtag exploded on Twitter. Photos from New Zealand, Ireland, Ukraine, the southern U.S. and right in my back yard showed a piece of the everyday life of the young (and not so young) farmer from each person’s perch. As videos were posted and thanks rolled across the medium, I really did start to think that perhaps, given the chance to speak up, that farmers were finally now claiming Earth Day as their own.
Some selected favorites from #FarmVoices:
— Chris&Bethan Walter (@Walter_Farms) April 22, 2013
— Meaghan (@modernmilkmaid) April 22, 2013
— Riverbend Gardens (@RiverbendGarden) April 22, 2013
There are so many more tweets, photos and videos. Please share yours!