In his famous TED Talk on “The Power of Why,” Simon Sinek explains that all projects of value, all ideas worth following, come from a compelling reason, a purpose for operating, “the why.”  Before we share OUR “why,” let us explain the three cows.

“You have two cows,” begins a series of satirical economics jokes to explain the advantages and disadvantages of any economic system.  The jokes may go something like:

Capitalism:  You have two cows.  You sell one and buy a bull.

Socialism:  You have two cows.  The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.

Communism:  You have two cows.  You give them to the government, and the government gives you some milk.

Based on that idea, American agriculture is meant to look like this:

You have two cows.  You sell some milk and buy some chickens.  You sell some eggs and some more milk and buy another cow.  You have three cows. You raise a barn and invite the neighborhood.  You get the idea.

Unfortunately, during the last few decades, the story of American Agriculture goes more like this:

You have two cows.  The market price for milk drops.  You get a job in town.  With a daily commute, you don’t have time or energy to milk the cows.  You sell them both.

We LOVE farming.  We love small farms, big farms and most of all healthy farms.  Healthy farms serve their community, food system and the families that run them.  We hate to see great farmers lose their farms in challenging environments.  That’s why we write this blog.  It is a collection of stories and wisdom we’ve gained building a farm, working with really smart people and reading really smart people’s books.  We hope you enjoy it.

Rachel and Christian Ahlmann


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