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Common Ground

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By M.P. Cremer

If we were in a room full of people at this very moment, I’d ask for a show of hands on the following questions.

How many of you feel as if you’re in a “good” marriage? Out of those people, who agrees with their spouse 50 percent of the time? How about 75 percent of the time? And, what about 100 percent?

How many of you have the exact same opinion as your spouse on every single subject, even the little things like what color you think the bathroom should be painted?

By the end of the exercise, I’d be hard pressed to find a hand in the air. You know why? Because even when we love someone and get along great with them, it’s nearly impossible to be on the same page about every little thing out there. 

So, if we have a disagreement with our spouses, although we may be reluctant at first, the way to move past it is by compromise. This would lead me to the next question I’d poll the group on. 

Have you ever had to compromise on something with your spouse? Hopefully, at least a few hands would go up on this one. 

A compromise, as defined by, is “an agreement or a settlement of a dispute which is reached by each side making concessions.” 

In other words, one party gives a little, the other party gives a little. 

Small compromises are something we see every day: picking a place to eat when on a road trip; deciding on a movie the whole family enjoys; agreeing to clean the kitchen while your husband cleans the garage so you can spend the rest of the day binging college football without a care in the world.

Compromise is all around us, but do we always like it? The short answer is no. 

Somewhere along the way, I was in a class where we learned about compromise. I remember our textbook categorized a compromise as a “win-win.” However, this is often not the case. 

See, a common phrase we always hear about compromise is, “Well, is it a real compromise if both parties feel like they lost?” 

We see this a lot in politics. The left will draft a bill the right doesn’t completely agree with and so they’ll make amendments and before you know it, the bill has just as much in it for the right as it does the left. 

Currently, this isn’t happening much, but somewhere down the line I feel like it will, or I guess, I have to believe it will in order to not make my head spin. So, how does ag fit into this?

In a perfect world, agriculturists and anti-ags would see eye to eye on every single matter facing the food system. However, the world is not perfect, the anti-ag movement keeps getting bigger and stronger, and we in agriculture can’t even agree on whether or not genetically modified organisms are bad for us nor respect those who raise animals under an “organic” label.

I hate to say it, but we in agriculture are no better than the pesky “government” we spend our family dinners stewing over.

I started this column wanting to talk about how important it is to find common ground with anti-ags and hope for a compromise. How can we find common ground with our “enemy” if we can’t find it amongst ourselves?

The time is now, agriculturists, to come together. We have got to start working together and not against each other. We have got to put our differences aside and work with our “only organic, pasture raised, global animal partnership certified” neighbor who thinks our antibiotic feed additives are poison.

We have got to spend our time working as a unified front and stop wasting our efforts on piddly little disagreements amongst ourselves. We have got to do this, because the anti-ags already are. Heck, it’s why their movement is growing so quickly.

We have got to, and I mean got to, set our sights on a common enemy to see real change in agriculture.

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