Jolene Brown, family business consultant – Who’s Hiding the Humor?

Posted on July 2, 2014 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Article written by Peggy Coffeen, Progressive Dairyman
Iowa farm woman and professional speaker Jolene Brown finds humor in just about every situation … even backing the pickup truck into the grain bin. At the Vita Plus Calf Summit, Brown reminded attendees that laughter is not only the key for finding personal happiness, but also for communicating our agricultural messages.

“Laughter builds wonderful bridges,” Brown said. “We have to do that in agriculture.”

A true advocate for agriculture, she takes advantage of opportunities to tell her story, often with her seat partner on an airplane as she travels across the country. Introducing herself as the real “Farmer Brown” not only gets a chuckle, but also breaks the ice for questions and conversations with people who are thirsty for information on where their food comes from.

From GMOs to “Franken-foods,” Brown has heard it all, and she responds in a light-hearted way that is sure to include a few laughs.

“There is a world out there that doesn’t understand what we do,” she said, “but people like to do business with people who love what they do.”

Bringing happiness into her response helps Brown convey her love for farming as a way of life, making it relatable to others and, thus, building a bridge.

Brown admits that farming certainly has its challenges, but she offers three pieces of advice to others:

  1. Learn to accept the things we cannot control or change. Choose to enjoy life. Accept the mistakes you have made and forgive others for theirs.
  2. Look for humor every day. One of the best sources of humor is children. Laugh at the funny and sweet things that they do and say, and cherish these moments by writing them down in a notebook.
  3. If you want to enjoy life, surround yourself with people who do too. Watch out for the “gossipers” and the “skunks” – the people who don’t mind their own odor and like to spread it to everyone else.

“It’s no one else’s job to make your life better,” she said. “You have to do it on your own.”

Click to access Calf Summit 2014 proceedings

Category: Employee management
Starting Strong - Calf Care