The Goal. . .
Lindsay Hotmire and Andy Kleinschmidt developed the idea for this project with a goal to share their conversation about food and agriculture. LindsayAndyTalk.com is unique because the authors hold different perspectives on food and agriculture and are willing to use this website to give transparency to their conversations.
LindsayAndyTalk.com launched February 2014 with Lindsay and Andy making a 12-month commitment to updating this blog.
The Story. . .
Andy and Lindsay didn’t intend to be friends.
In fact, by all statistical standards, they shouldn’t be friends at all.
Andy’s an agricultural research scientist, working on advancements in biotechnology. He describes himself as a strong supporter of “all things ag.”
Lindsay’s a writer, specializing in researching the ways that industrialized agriculture impacts communities.
Andy and Lindsay met in 2007, when 15,000 hogs moved into their community. Because the farmer split his land into parcels and housed those hogs in 5 different barns, the state of Ohio didn’t require him to obtain a permit for operation, as each barn fell just one hog short of the permitting requirement.*
They had opposing perspectives on those hog barns, but as they moved forward, they developed a deep respect for one another and worked towards one common goal: Building a better community.
They believed that could only happen if the shouting stopped and the listening started. So that’s what they did.
They listened to each other.
They worked with each other.
And guess what happened?
They discovered that they actually liked each other.
*By law, the state of Ohio requires farmers to obtain a permit to operate if their barns house 2,500 (or more) hogs. This particular operator chose to split his land into tracts and house 2,499 hogs in each barn, allowing him to avoid the permitting process. For more on Ohio’s livestock permitting process, visit here or here.
Beyond the Story. . .
For nearly four decades, Lindsay has lived her life with a single philosophy: Always find the truth.
In 2006, when industrialized agriculture challenged her perceptions on agriculture, she began asking questions about the food that was being raised in her own community. Eventually, those questions led her throughout rural Ohio as she sought the stories of those who have lived long enough to see a different side of farming–one that they say has been forsaken by industrialization and corporate interests.
The narratives she heard throughout Ohio’s bucolic countryside taught her that more than anything, people want to be heard. As a researcher and a writer, Lindsay believes that everyone has a story–farmer, neighbor, scientist, and consumer–and if our food system truly desires equity, everyone’s voice must be heard, for it’s only in the listening that we will ever discover truth.
Lindsay is a full-time writer and lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. She spends her days turning letters into words and keeps an eye out for her favorite feathered visitors: the cardinal, the blue jay, and the hawk.
I consider myself a student of agriculture and have dedicated my professional career to agriculture. I have a couple of degrees in agriculture, but I’d like to keep this bio less formal and more personal so I’ll leave out details on my education and work history.
I live just outside of Johnston, Iowa and have also lived in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio (the Midwest rocks!). I married my friend, Bobbi, a couple of years after meeting her at an Agronomy Club event at Purdue University. Bobbi and I attended Purdue at the same time and we both majored in Agronomy. I have two great kids who make me proud every day. Family time is important to all of us, and we made a commitment to eat one meal together daily. For the most part we are able to keep our commitment. Bobbi is a stay at home mom and does all the meal planning. She makes amazing food for our family and occasionally for our neighbors.
Some time ago I put the tag line on my twitter bio “strong supporter of all things ag” which reflects my personal philosophy about agriculture and farming. In addition to working in agriculture I am also a co-owner of a hay and cotton farm on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas. I believe that agriculture is a big tent and there is need and room for many different types of farming practices. I strongly value conversations about agriculture and LindsayAndyTalk.com is reflection of my support for those conversations.
My work on LindsayAndyTalk.com is independent of my employer. The thoughts and views I express here are mine and mine alone.