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A Real-Life Example of How Farmers' Survival Depends On Values, Brotherhood, and Cooperation


  

“It’s all about values; names represent people, and values represent people’s true selves”.

 


EXTREME EVENTS


Farmers are fighters from birth, and by heart; for 11 thousand years, farmers have fought the unpredictable forces of nature, pests, and their own human limitations.


But sometimes, this phrase of “fighting” becomes literal as they fight “Extreme Events" such as fires, floods, droughts, locusts, wars, etc.


Farmers are.., well, farmers are not super-human.


How farmers recover from a devastating extreme event says more about the society they belong to than those affected.


When extreme events arrive, farmers don’t need speeches; they need actions and immediate assistance and support, logistical, financial, and mental support.


When such support is delayed, they may collapse and sink into poverty, leaving their children with a gloomy future.


Unfortunately, Extreme Events are not uncommon for farmers; all it takes is one such event in a lifetime to destroy the prospect of a better future for years or decades ahead.

 

 

YAMAN


Yariv Hajbi's parents emigrated from Yemen to Israel in 1947 with no prior background in agriculture.


That didn’t seem to interfere with the Israeli government's decision to settle them in 1952 in a remote rural desert location, Moshav Yachini, bordering the Gaza Strip's hostile population.


Years passed by, and thanks to the Israeli three pillars model (i.e., ecosystem, business models, technology/services), the Yemen immigrants, who first knew nothing about agriculture, became successful farmers in a prosperous community.

 



 

 

 








YARIV


Yariv was born and raised as a farmer in a thriving agro community. He always knew he would be a farmer and was proud of it.


When graduating high school, Yariv, like all Israelis, was recruited to the Israeli army (IDF), where he became an officer in an elite unit.


After ending his military service, he searched for his passion and destiny, which he finally found in farming.


He settled three minutes and 1.5 km away from his childhood house in the rural community of Nir-Moshe.


Equipped with far more professional knowledge than his parents, Yariv built a prosperous agro-business farm with his two hands and the Israeli Model's assistance.

 













Yariv and Zehava, his sister (1990)


 

NADAV


I met Yariv for the first time in October 1991, while he was still in the army, an officer and the commander of Nadav’s platoon in the battle where Nadav was killed.


Nadav was my brother, and Yariv, being his commanding officer, paid a visit and shared his grief with my parents the day we buried Nadav.


Since then, Yariv came to visit my parents every year for 30 years until they passed away two years ago.


Thirty years is more than enough to know someone, and I got to know and appreciate the man Yariv was.


My parents loved Yariv. The fact that we were all farmers added another layer to the already strong relationship - a feeling of brotherhood and shared faith.

 










Yariv and Nimrod at Yariv’s farm


 

ILANA

 

Early in the morning of Saturday, October 7th, Yariv gets a phone call from his mother, Ilana, “We are under attack. I am in the house and saw how the Hamas terrorists shot Izhar (Izhar is Yariv’s oldest brother)”.


Five minutes later, accompanied by three friends, all armed, Yariv makes the 1.5 km separating his house from his mother’s.


In the few minutes of drive, his mind takes him to when he was an officer in that elite unit; you never forget it.


He knows every rock and tree in Moshav Yachini and what and how he needs to act as a fighter.


The battle begins and goes on for hours.


By the end of the day, when Yariv reaches his mother, he finds that he has lost his brother (Izhar) and four other family members, including one who participated in the

Peace Music Festival and another who is a policewoman.


Fearing more terrorists are hiding around the community, the army instructs all residents of the Moshav to lock themselves at home. They lock themselves in the house for three days.















Ilana at her home in Moshav Yachini.


 

LIVELIHOOD AND SANITY


Three days after the attack, Yariv and his mother exited the house and stepped into an unfamiliar reality –


·       A war broke out, and overnight, Moshav Yachini became a military base where no one was allowed to stay. Yariv’s parents had to evacuate and became homeless.

·       The family had five members to bury and mourn.

·       Izhar’s (Yariv’s brother) agro-business was left without a manager.

·       Out of fear, 14 of the 20 workers Yariv had before the war left the farm for good.

·       Fresh produce that should provide the family livelihood, valued at hundreds of thousands of $, was waiting in the fields and began rotten as there were no workers to carry on the harvest.

·       Mentally, Yariv was at its lowest, holding himself to get over each day in what seemed like a survival war within an even more deadly war.

 

Broken-hearted and with only six employees, with fields full of crops and other fields waiting to be planted, Yariv faced tremendous mental, financial, logistical, and mental difficulties.


Yariv was facing a war, in fact, two wars. No farmer is trained to survive such extreme events, often turning time into an enemy.


In those dark days, Yariv was glad his house and farm in Moshav Nir-Moshe were out of the official war zone, which meant he could keep on working if he could only keep his sanity and maybe get help.



VALUES AND COOPERATION


In many countries, farmers in Yariv’s situation would collapse economically and mentally, which may lead to family poverty and no money for school and even for food.


Usually, when extreme events occur, we expect the government to step in and save the day.


However, the current Israeli government's condition, slow reaction, and attitude are not capable of providing the timely help needed, so no one trusts or waits for any help coming from them.


Yariv got the help he needed thanks to values that are inert in the Israeli culture and function even when the national leadership and government malfunctions. (For more reading)

 











One Indian worker and the volunteers, Tom and Rosalie (US) and Dganit (Israel) were at Yariv’s farm planting vegetables.


 

Such values are frequently expressed in the readiness to volunteer to help someone in need (without monetary compensation), even when volunteering costs you time and money, and this someone is a competitor at regular times.


Examples of volunteering and support that Yariv received and helped him survive the current Extreme Event in Israel:


·       Members of his Moshav community who do not work in agriculture volunteered to work on his farm.

·       The Moshav secretary (management) helped with matters related to it.

·       Fellow farmers from other communities reached out and helped as much as needed.

·       Dozens of volunteers (mostly not farmers) from around Israel have arrived and offered the much-needed help.

·       As in the above picture, even volunteers from outside Israel came to help.



EXTREME EVENTS ARE NOT RARE


As a professional farmer, I know that no volunteers are as good as professional workers who know their job and do it daily.


However, in Extreme Events, farmers don’t need “the best”; they need to survive, and they need a helping hand now. Not less critical for their recovery, they need to feel someone cares about them.


Millions of farmers annually face Extreme Events in which, without help, they would collapse and turn from productive farmers to “social cases”.


Often, all they need and all it takes is short-term extensive help, even when provided by non-professional volunteers.


From my experience, the most meaningful is the help farmers get in such cases from their community members and country fellows.


When the volunteers are from the community or the country/state, the unspoken message to the recipient is simple, straightforward, and powerful -


"We understand you are going through horrible times. We are here for you because we care about you. You are important to us, part of us, and we will never let you fall. You have someone to trust. We know that if the situation were reversed, you would help us."


This is a message that can be conveyed only through actions and which no words can replace. A powerful message that energizes and strengthens those who need reinforcement in their difficult time.


It all begins with pre-agreed shared values, which we can’t see, touch, or measure but are responsible for the prosperity of societies and rural communities. 

 

 

FARMERS


Yariv's story is a living testament to the challenges faced by farmers during Extreme Events.


In his darkest hour, Yariv's salvation came from the hearts and hands of those who rallied around him.


This narrative mirrors the core themes I've explored in previous columns – the vital role of shared values, trust, order, collaboration, and integration in the path to agro-sector success.


Yariv's journey is not just his; it's a microcosm of the larger narrative unfolding when an Extreme Event hits farmers.


The solidarity shown by volunteers from his community across the country and beyond is a testament to the power of communal bonds.


It reinforces that a solid organizational foundation rooted in shared values can weather the most formidable storms.


Yariv's story showcases that we can only talk about thriving in the agro-sector if we discuss farmers' long-term resilience amidst extreme challenges in pursuing a better future.


In sharing Yariv's journey, I emphasize that the principles discussed in previous columns are not theoretical musings. Those principles are the living, breathing ethos that sustains thriving rural communities worldwide.


Where we plant and nurture shared values, collaboration, and integration, farmers will harvest prosperity, and rural communities will thrive.

 

 

Ways I can support your transition to thriving agriculture:


* Consultancy on rural communities and the agro-sector (tailor-made).

 

* Local/national programs related to export use the Dream Valley’s operational concepts of a global vertical value and supply chain connecting input suppliers with farmers in developing economies and farmers with consumers in premium markets.

 

* Crop protection: Biofeed, an eco-friendly zero-spray solution development, production, and protocols.

 

* IBMA Conference - To learn, share, and practice novel business models: Attend the IBMA 2024 conference. The 2024 conference theme is “Reshaping Agribusiness Models for Building Prosperous Rural Communities."

Contact: +972-542523425 / nisraely@biofeed.co.il and be part of this transformative journey!

 

 

TAKEAWAY MESSAGES


Ø  VALUES are the only things we can trust to propel help toward us when in need.   

Ø  VOLUNTEERS showcase collective strength during agricultural crises.

Ø  SMALL-HOLD FARMERS that face Extreme Events have no one to reach out to help and, therefore, are doomed to an economic collapse, often accompanied by a personal and family crisis.

 

 

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More on the October 7th genocide in South Israel:

 

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*** Mental and Economic Freedom Are Interconnected. ***

 

See you soon,

Nimrod








Dr. Nimrod Israely is the CEO and Founder of Dream Valley and Biofeed companies and the Chairman and Co-founder of the IBMA conference. +972-54-2523425 (WhatsApp), or email nisraely@biofeed.co.il

 

 

P.S.

If you missed it, here is a link to last week's blog, “Measuring Success Through Happiness”.

 

P.P.S.

Dream Valley is a field-proven disruptive business model based on the successful Israeli Model.

To learn more and become a Dream Valley partner, contact me at nisraely@biofeed.co.il, +972-542523425 (WhatsApp/Text)

 

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Change Begins With A Decision

That The Existing Reality Is A Choice

and Not A Decree of Fate

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