New Zealand road sign warning of a "cattl...
Cattle guard – grid of metal bars covering a hollow or hole dug in a roadway, intended to prevent the passage of livestock while allowing vehicles, etc. to pass unhindered. Not an armed person. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the first things noted when I began my blogging efforts back in 2009, was the fact that so much is taken for granted in the way of knowledge and experiences when sharing my story of ranch life.

Over the past few years, I have received so many questions asking me to explain what a term, phrase, or object is. I often take it for granted that everyone else know what that object is used for, simply because I have used it my entire life. This is so true, that the subject of my most popular blog posts is often a simple explanation of things used or referred to frequently in farm or ranch life.

Last month the Illinois Farm Bureau blog,, explained such a situation. A 2010 survey of 1,109 Illinois residents found “those surveyed believed 54 percent of farms were owned by corporations based on what they had seen on TV, commercials, and signs along farm fields.”  Could farm crop variety signs be misleading?

For many involved in agriculture, we recognize these road-side signs as displaying the different crop varieties planted. It provides a simple, easy to identify visual of how different varieties of crops are performing. However, to many non-farm customers, these signs may be perceived differently. IFB found that many see the signs as displaying the owner of the farms, often as mega-corporations instead of family operations.

Here is a blog post that describes 4 reasons farmers select different crop varieties each year.

One Illinois family took charge to fix this problem by adding some personalization to their road-side signs.

Photo Credit: Illinois Farm Bureau blog

What farm terms, signs, objects, or practices do we take for granted and assume everyone else understands their meaning?

Next time you’re explaining your work on the farm, or trying to think of a new blog post topic, remember to explain some of the simple things or ask your audience to make sure they understand what it is your discussing.

Another example of how communication is a two-way street.

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” — Epictetus

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