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  • Writer's pictureErin Dickson

When You Think You Know

There are many things that we can count on. There are always 12 months in a year. The sun always rises. Kids are a blessing and a curse. Ranch goes with everything. These are the simple things. The things that keep us all on track and comfortable. This is what we know.


We know that you put a seed in the ground, take care of it by making sure it has water, sun and nutrients. We harvest it and ship it to its destination where it gets consumed. That's what people know. That's what people are comfortable with. There will always be food at a store and it's because of a farmer. Granted, many people think food comes from a store...but that's another story – we know.

What we know. A beautiful field in perfect condition.

So, what happens when the weather turns, and you can't plant that seed at the perfect time? What happens if there's a political issue that halts movement after harvest? What happens when something that happened last year means there isn't enough seed to plant this year? What if there's a freeze? What if there's a flood? What if it's too hot, too cold, too early, too late, too wet, too dry?

Families have been farming for years. They know, each year is different. Every year, there is always something new to learn. This why people get into farming and stay here. The rush is in the unknown. The fact that year after year, the second we think we know - we realize we don't. Even after doing it for 100 years. We don't know when we have to dig in several inches of rain.


We know that there’s a beginning, a middle and an end to every story. We know that it must be genuine and mean something to somebody. We know that it must be relatable and compelling. If there is nobody to listen and hear it, we know that it won’t matter. We know that stories make the world a better and smarter place. We know that stories help our businesses, foster relationships and help us grow as people.

What happens when people are listening and consuming stories differently today then they did yesterday? What happens when what you want to say isn’t what people want to hear? What happens if they don’t believe you because there are so many other stories that are false? What if nobody listens? What if nobody cares?

Sharing stories of business, products, farms and food has been being done forever. Each story is different. Every person listening is different. Every person who hears a story will take away something different. This is what we know. Do we tell our story on Social Media (and which platforms?) Do we tell our story on packaging (and what kind?) Do we tell our story through influencers (and who?). And what happens if people’s habits change (because they are going to).


It's the middle of April. We're in a blizzard. There are schools and roads that are closed. There is another historic flood that is finally starting to recede. People are stranded at the airport. We think we know that in April, we're done with this. Just when we think we know – we really don't.

Grand Forks, ND - April 12th 2019.

What are we supposed to do when (no, if) this happens? Farming, storytelling, weather – when things happen that we didn’t know were going to happen? We do know we have to be prepared. We don’t freak out. We plan for the unplanned. We roll with it. We get comfortable in who we are and know that we are armed with all of the information possible and move forward. We wake up every day, because the sun will rise (even if we can’t see it through the blowing snow) and things will happen that we don’t know, when we think we do.

We will get the crop out. We will share our story. We just might not get home when planned.


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