The Peyton Post: It’s OK to Ask for Help

07-29-2019 in Communications Internship

By Peyton Schmitt, Communications Intern

The first day of an internship inevitably brings an onslaught of new information. I would even go so far as to say that many experience feelings of confusion, frustration and occasionally, embarrassment during that first week on the job.  While I am no stranger to a learning curve, I am admittedly not a fan of them. I want to feel confident and assured in my ability to execute tasks – not spend time struggling to locate the right file or fill out a print request form properly.

Despite my aversion to these feelings of uncertainty, the transition to my new role with CSIF has been nothing short of fantastic. I love what I’m doing, and I love the people I get to do it with. From the welcoming CSIF team to the hardworking farmers we get to serve, I have thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in all the projects and experiences this new opportunity has brought me this summer.

However, this most definitely doesn’t mean I’ve got it all figured out. For example, one of my first tasks of the summer was to update a page on our website… sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. I searched for at least twenty minutes for the right page I needed to edit, combing through each drop-down menu meticulously. I willed myself to keep searching, not wanting to embarrass myself by asking another silly question and admitting I needed help. Finally realizing I could potentially spend the next hour searching and still have no luck, I decided to swallow my pride.

And you know what? It’s a good thing I did. Turns out, I didn’t have the correct administrative permissions to even see the page I was supposed to be editing, let alone make the appropriate changes. In that situation, I started to realize that sometimes there is so much value in simply asking for help. It didn’t make me incompetent, weak, or lazy. It made me resourceful, and willing to collaborate with those who could assist me in accomplishing my goal.

Seeing the way that the Coalition helps farmers accomplish their goals has been one of my favorite parts of this summer. From helping the Bardoles host an open house and celebrating the anniversary of the Green Farmstead Partner Program with the Wesslings, to honoring the Cunninghams and Ewoldts with the Good Farm Neighbor award, the way that CSIF serves farmers makes us incredibly unique. I have heard from so many farmers that they wouldn’t have been able to achieve their goals – from planting trees on their farm to having strong relationships with their neighbors – if they hadn’t made the choice to reach out and accept the help of the Coalition.

 

Our industry has been dealt a tough hand recently, and it’s no secret that we often must weather some difficult times in agriculture. As producers, we are inclined to be humble, resilient stewards of the land. When times are challenging, we simply put our heads down and push through it, hopeful that better days will come. As a result, we have created such a negative stigma surrounding the idea of allowing ourselves to depend on others.

But how are we supposed to make any progress if we are always stuck in this rut of just “getting by?” Isn’t the potential opportunity to achieve our goals – whether they be to expand our herd sizes, create a prosperous future for our family, or even to feel proud of our operations – worth allowing ourselves to admit that sometimes we need a little assistance? We know (especially those of us from rural communities) we would do whatever we could to help our friends and neighbors – it’s OK to allow them to return the favor.

Accepting help doesn’t make us any less of a farmer. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t capable, and it doesn’t have to be something we are ashamed of. It means that you’re intelligent, for using your resources. It means that you’re appreciative, for embracing the talents of others. And it means that you’re strong, for seeking out the right path to guide you through a challenging situation.

Let’s stop making the act of asking for help a bad thing. Let’s instead choose to embrace the idea of leaning on our family and friends, to utilize the resources that are available to us, and to find peace in knowing that we don’t have to shoulder our burdens alone. I’m going to commit to being more willing to accept the generosity and help of others, and I hope you choose to do the same.

How can CSIF help you?

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