sweet potato farmer"
Not much to say
- just read it!
story about the sweet-potato farmer.
Once upon a time there was a sweet-potato farmer. He was living
on a farm that was fairly large when it comes to sweet-potato farming
in his country, but he was struggling a bit to survive. He had lost
a part of the farm where he was growing another crop and could no
longer afford to pay his worker to look permanently after the sweet-potatoes.
Well, it happened that a former sweet-potato farmer from another
country came along, and he had a sweet-potato cutting himself and
needed a place where to plant it. The struggling farmer said he
could plant his cutting on his farm and that it would be great if
the foreign farmer could help out as a farm-worker.
The foreign farmer, who had left sweet-potato
farming because he felt that it was too much jealousy and too little
knowledge and aspirations among the sweet-potato farmers in his
own country and also places overseas where he had been, said ok
after a long period of thinking. He was after all responsible for
his own cutting and the cutting wanted to try to become a strong
The foreign farmer took a good look at the local
conditions, included a survey of the farm and the farming principles
in the area. He also spent many hours studying new varieties of
sweet-potatoes and how they made them to grow well in other countries.
He was a bit surprised, but pleasantly, to see that some of the
farming-principles he himself had developed some years ago now were
used by the leading sweet-potato growing country in the world. He
also noticed that the principles for educating sweet-potato workers
used in the farmers country were the same that were used in his
former country years ago.
The foreign farmer started helping out, tending the established
cuttings and plants. He immediately saw what needed to be done to
improve the crops and explained to the farmer that to grow sweet-potatoes
you had to get hold of new cuttings all the time, and that the younger
plants needed to grow together in one field to become good tasting
and not wilt and die.
The foreign farmer had extensive experience in
growing sweet-potatoes, and he had also the highest education both
as a sweet-potato worker and a farmer. He had also educated sweet-potato
farmers and workers all over his former country, and had helped
them to run their farms and showed them how to grow sweet-potatoes.
Not only had he established the largest sweet-potato farm in his
former country but his sweet-potatoes were famous for always becoming
the best tasting. He had many trophies from national and international
The foreign sweet-potato farmer started his work
in good spirits but was soon surprised and shocked to learn that
the struggling farmer did not seem to want his help after all. Whatever
he explained about how to do farming in a better way was neglected
and all the ideas and suggestions he came up with were rejected.
He managed to get hold of quite a lot of new cuttings, with a view
to the local conditions, but the farmer and the former full-time
worker did not find more than one inexperienced worker who could
help him to tend them. That was not enough, since the foreign farmer
now were looking after all the sweet-potatoes at the farm, from
tender cuttings to very mature plants. Some of the established but
still young plants did not seem like the improved ways of farming
techniques the foreign framer and the former full-time worker tried
to introduce. They rather wanted to manage on their own. This made
the foreign farmer very sad because he knew he could help them to
become very strong plants and that they on their own would welter
and die before reaching potato-setting age.
The foreign farmer tried again and again to explain
to the farmer that there had to be plans and goals in place if you
want to grow sweet-potatoes or other crops, and explained how they
did their successful farming in Europe and other parts of the world.
And was very shocked and sad to hear the reply that he rather should
go back to the place in Europe where he came from. He wanted to
help the farmer here, not the farmers overseas!
Well, it so happened that the foreign farmer went
back to the place he came from but only for a visit. And he was
pleasantly surprised to see that his old farm was thriving almost
as well as it did when he was running it. His former farm had been
closed down some years because of a fire but the new farmer told
him that they had found his old development plans and used them
to rebuilt the farm. The new farmer was also happy to hear that
the visiting farmer was pleased to see so many young cuttings growing
together: - You are a legend here, what you say is important to
us, he said.
It was also fun for the foreign farmer to see
that the ideas and plans he had come up with years ago now was put
back into the sweet-potato growing all over the country and that
everything was thriving. There were might be even more cuttings
in the fields now than when he was working hard to improve the standard
of sweet-potato growing - and one of the reasons might be that the
young workers he had educated himself now were adults and had their
own cuttings and were keen on making everything prosper!
The foreign farmer helped out a bit on his old
farm as a volunteer worker just for fun and was pleasantly surprised
to see that the young cuttings seemed to have a lot of respect for
him and that the workers asked his opinion. At two large sweet-potato
shows he helped all the cuttings from his old farm to do their best
- and the cuttings seemed to thrive with him in the garden - even
a very promising cutting competing with the best mature plants in
It was not
easy for the foreign farmer to return to the new country where he
had settled down and go back to help the local sweet-potato farmer.
But his own cutting still wanted to become a plant competing in
shows, so as a responsible person he was feeling that he just had
to help. What really was nagging him was the question: What good
would it do to help his own cutting to become a strong and competitive
plant when he most certainly would wilt and die after a year or
so because there were so few other cuttings? He wished he never
had taken his cutting to the local sweet-potato farm, he should
have known it could end bad.
Another thing that was nagging him was questions
staring with "why". Why did the farmer treat him like
he did - what had he done wrong? Why did the farmer ignore his capacity?
Why did he refuse to listen to his well-meant and well thought-trough
advices? Did the farmer believe he knew so much better - could he
not see that the foreign farmer was the one that could help him
to save the somewhat problem-stricken farm and make it flourish?
Why did the farmer not listen to the former full- time worker when
he said that the farmer was extremely lucky to have such a capacity
wanting to help out? Was it a case of patriotism - did he not like
that a farmer from a foreign country should give him advice? Or
- did the farmer not understand his accent or like the way he looked?
Or was it just ignorance or lack of respect for sweet-potato farming
farmer always took his responsibilities serious, and that he was
met with such a strange and negative behaviour at the local farm
was constantly bothering him. It was hard for him to concentrate
at his regular work and hard to sleep night-time. He had spent many,
many hours besides his work in the farmer's garden planning farming
procedures and gardening activities that might be used by the farmer.
The foreign farmer now felt it was such a waste of time but could
only scratch his head trying to understand why the farmer was so
negative. He knew that another foreign farmer trying to help a farm
growing another kind of crop in the same area had experienced similar
problems but why should it have to be like this?
The foreign farmer felt sorry his own cutting,
for the sweet-potato farmer and all the cutting that he had collected
to the garden just to see them disappear, but most of all he felt
sorry for the young cuttings already established on the farm; He
would have loved to help them to prosper, and he knew he could do
it, but now he only could watch them wilt and die.
When the new growing season started the foreign
worker was surprised that several workers suddenly wanted to work
at the farm. And this time without getting paid. The foreign farmed
had been working voluntary in sweet-potato growing and other agricultural
activities for many years so he did not mind that there were no
money, but what really surprised him was that the workers were not
interested in co-operating. The workers wanted to have a few of
their own cuttings they could tend in their own little piece of
the farms garden. It was bad enough that some of the young plants
did not want to follow the growing procedures that the former full-time
worker and he had established, because that was really cruel against
the other young plants, but to keep the young cuttings totally from
each other was against all agricultural principles.
To have enough workers is almost always a good
thing but the foreign farmer knew very well that they had to co-operate.
Different workers might have different ways of growing sweet-potatoes.
That is more or less ok when it comes to separate sweet-potato growing
countries: They can compete - to see which country can do best at
the international shows. But when it comes to one farm, with not
many cuttings, the workers just got to agree on how to grow the
cuttings and plants. For if you gave the wrong fertilizer to one
young plant it might not only harm the plant but also spread to
the other plants. And a fertilizer that worked for one plant might
not work for another, so of course the workers had to talk to each
other to establish what kind of fertilizer was working best for
each plant. The workers and the farmer should also sit down to decide
what kind of sweet-potato farming they actually wanted. If the farmer
wanted to take part in sweet-potato shows then they should decide
what results he wanted. And then they should plan how they could
help all the plants to grow to their best ability or the ability
needed to get the results.
After another period of scratching his head the
foreign farmer heard the farmer say that sweet-potato growing just
was hobby, he was not actually farming to make the best sweet-potatoes.
Well, a hobby is always fun but many years of experience in several
countries had taught the foreign farmer that to have sweet-potato
growing as a hobby did not work in the long run. It is fun for a
while but then the interest is always fading away. Sweet-potato
growing was the same as all agricultural activity - you just had
to be serious it to be in it!
farmer would have loved to help promote sweet-potato farming but
what was the use if it only was a hobby for the farmer? The foreign
farmer had the experience necessary, and had successfully promoted
sweet-potato growing in his own country and overseas, but how could
he promote sweet-potato growing when there were no serious plans
in place? He did not want to be responsible to see fresh cutting
be brought to the farm just to see the die - not again!
So what should
the foreign farmer do? Should he start his own sweet-potato farm?
Well, that would certainly bring more happiness into his life but
it would also bring a lot of more of hard work. And at the moment
he had some important projects to complete - had had put them on
hold to help the farmer. He could set aside a number of hours to
help his own and other sweet-potato cuttings grow but to establish
a farm on his own would demand a lot of him - he knew that from
experience. Should he take his own cutting to another farm? Or might
be try to make him grow together with other kind of crops and forget
about being a sweet-potato?
What he really wanted was that the farmer should
realize that he was wasting a resource that was very hard to find
and change his negative attitude. Is should not take much - should
the academy was never approved/started.
letter for Terry -
from Paul Jones
start of the season/year.
Comittee - 2009 - established and later cancelled.
Committee - 2009 - established and cancelled.
plan, period 1 - 2009
plan, period 2 - 2009
plan, period 3 - 2009
evaluation, players - 2009
Clinic - 2009 - Easter Holiday week-end coaching.
All Ages Tournament
Recuitment - 2009 - drives
to get new members.
"Time for a change" - letter concerning coaching.
Junior Invitation Series - an attempt to get the juniors back.
Coaches Workshop - 2010
- cancelled same
Who is Terry Dahl? Information about