written and republished with permission from Laura Daniels
I asked what she did, she said she was a teacher and a coach. I asked what sport (never assume) and sure enough basketball. I was ready to ask all sorts of questions since my Julia loves all things basketball… But, before I could interrogate her for tips, she asked what I do. With my usual pride I said, “I am a dairy farmer.”
She said, “Oh, tell me more about that, about a year ago I stopped eating all animal products, I am a vegan.”
So, I think to myself, “Well. OK. Now I have a choice here, what do I say? Stop. Think first Laura. Be kind.” Not that I would be mean, but I could have easily become defensive, or promptly ended the conversation.
Instead, I asked her question after question, about her life, and her “life’s work” of teaching. I took an interest in her. I really liked her. We found that we are both advocates of choosing the positive when ever possible. We are both trying to make the world a better place, we both worry about how girls are often over protected by parents, while boys are pushed to succeed. We talked non-stop for an hour and a half.
We did talk about farming, but it came after we both knew we respected each other and had more, (much more) in common that we first realized.
Will she drink milk? I think maybe. I’m not sure. But I’m pretty sure she will remember the dairy farmer who reached out a with a kind handshake.
Laura Daniels is a wife, mom and farmer with the most beautiful cows on the planet, dream chasing and cheese are her hobbies. She is the founder of the Dairy Girl Network, an organization established to support women dairy farmers and professionals.