We all love the opportunity to publically announce we are an idiot – right? Well, here I am. I walked right into it. First, to understand this, you need to understand my twitter policy. I don’t retweet things without reading and looking at them. No matter how enticing the title sounds I’m not going to put my endorsement on something I haven’t even read.
So yesterday when I saw “Cattle ear tags offer unique solution to improve outback internet coverage”, I was intrigued enough to follow the link and quickly scanned the article. Key words: QUICKLY, SCANNED. I did this as I prepared supper, helped one kid with homework, and called from the kitchen to the piano room…. “No – no – the next note is G then B” as my daughter practiced piano. So I admit this article got about 3% of my attention. But the idea was out-there and fascinating so I retweeted it. Of course, I added the brilliant commentary, “So cool!”.
That night I was telling my husband about this AMAZING technology from Australia. As I started to tell him the details, some were a bit fuzzy. So I glossed over those. Other details that didn’t make sense in my retelling just got mixed together and I came up with my own version of the story. My husband stopped walking (we were out checking cows) and just looked at me like I had two heads. “No really, I’ll show you as soon as we get home.” He smiled and nodded. (Yeah, I get that look a lot J).
Later. Kids are in bed, house is quiet, and I pull up the article.
Look I say, and as I start to hand him the phone I see …
EDITORS NOTE: This story was published as an April Fool’s Joke.
UG! It was from Australia. Yes, they are a day ahead but still….They even told me. In bold. At the top.
One of my better traits is never being too proud to laugh at myself. One of my weaker traits apparently is reading.
But there is a lesson here. I was reading about an area I was peripherally familiar. I was comfortable (cocky?) enough to not work through any technical parts…. I just skimmed those … and still think I understood the key messages. As a blogger and public speaker I am often communicating with people who are peripherally familiar with agriculture. And I suspect, at least some have made the same gaff that I did. You “heard” me, but then ….
My dream is be able to talk about anything that happens on my farm and to be willing to have a conversation about any agricultural practice that I am knowledgeable enough to talk about. I don’t want to show you only the clean and pretty. But last night reminded me how dangerous it is to put material out there. If you (when you….) do what I did and twist the story to fit your preconceived view, I’ve just contributed to the problem.
So while I could have woken up with morning vindictive and tried to catch you on a great April Fool’s blog, I’m in a more reflective mood. I’m just one person in an amazing group of people trying to share the world of farming. But I have been reminded just how careful I need to be. I can’t simply make you armed and dangerous. I will work hard to share clearly. For those of you engaged in this food & ag conversation, I hope you are all caught with a stupid April Fool’s joke so you too are reminded that humility is imperative to building understanding.