Airline Chit-Chat

It never fails.  The airline seating god ceases to amaze me in his ability to put me beside the most interesting individuals. Last week on my way home from Arizona, I was beside a chatty, middle-aged man who wanted nothing more than to talk incessantly into my ear when I was hoping to get a bit of shut-eye.

After small talk about where we were going and what we were doing, our conversation then moved into our careers and personal lives. At the mention of my “working for an agricultural lender” and “having a dairy farm,” the man from Arizona perked up even more, and I knew that I was in for a full-flight discussion – thank goodness it was on my shorter flight from Tuscon to Phoenix.

He shared that although he now enjoys his job in communications, he wants to get into farming during his retirement years. But, I quickly learned that he wants to take an unconventional approach to farming.

In a nutshell, I had a lesson that flight about “energized water” and how all water either has a left spin or a right spin. According to him, conventional tap and well water is right spinning. However, water that has been energized is left spinning and offers tremendous benefit to those who drink the water (in his case, it has helped to give him more energy, turn his hair from gray back to black and etc.). He explained that when applied to plants, left spinning water can produce larger and more abundant fruits and vegetables, hence his interest in starting a farming enterprise.

My point in this post is not to bring light to his interesting beliefs about water and farming. Rather, my point is to describe how I reacted to someone who clearly has a different perspective. Yes, this was a totally new topic for me, and after a quick Google search that found articles such as How do They Live to be 120 Years Old, I’m still not sold on the concept. His discussion also included points about the evils of commercial agriculture because of GMOs and the influence of Monsanto– points that can create some contention with those of us in agriculture that know and understand the benefits that advanced technology has brought to the agricultural industry.

While I can’t guarantee that I completely changed his thoughts, I do think that my Arizonan friend got off the plane that day having a slightly improved outlook on conventional agricultural practices. By listening to his story and showing an interest (…at least I tried) of his new methods, he then appreciated what I had to say when I talked about the importance of advanced technology in agriculture to feed a growing world.

It’s funny that in every other aspect of our life, technology is embraced. We want the more fuel efficient car, yet when it comes to agriculture, we question whether efficiency is a good thing, even if it benefits the environment, our food supply and more. From the expression in my seat partner’s face, I think the analogy hit home to him.

Before we parted ways, I was sure to convey to him that I appreciated his interest in agriculture and food. In all honesty, I am. While he might have an interesting viewpoint on how food should be grown, I am happy that he cares. There are so many people in this world that don’t even have a clue about how food makes it to their supper tables.

So, I guess I can’t be too harsh on the airline seating god. Perhaps my lesson in left turning water was well worth the opportunity to tell my story.

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