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A Matter Of Opinion

Mon., Aug. 6, 2007, 11:10 a.m.

Fred Fleming: Thinking Outside the Farm Plot

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Spent an afternoon recently with Fred Fleming, a Reardan fourth-generation farmer who, along with a dozen other Palouse farmers, is pioneering ways to do sustainable no-till farming. They are also building regional markets for their Shepherd's Grain product.

He was the focus of my Sunday column, and of the audio slide show posted with this post. In the column, I quoted Margo Long who teaches future teachers at Whitworth University. In a recent summer class, she taught skills students will need to thrive in the global world. She has advice for older workers, too.

Workers who have toiled for years in the same profession can feel anxious and on the verge of burning out, Margo says. Some think that if they jump to a new profession, all will be well again. But no profession is immune from technological changes and global currents.
Best to stay in the "box" you know and use your accumulated knowledge to try creative things, she says. It's working for Fred. He introduces himself this way: "My name is Fred and I'm a recovering conventional farmer."

Question: How have you reinvented yourself in your current workplace?

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