Thursday , 20 June 2024
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Challenging Assumptions

Challenging Assumptions

question2The second question in the Prairie Idea Exchange invited participants to consider what assumptions might be impeding new ideas.

Facilitator Joe Bartmann, vice president of programs for Dakota Resources, said he tries to make sure assumptions are not labeled as good or bad.

“It’s really about just knowing that they are there and that they influence what we decide to do in the world,” Bartmann said. “If we start labeling some bad, then people may start to feel attacked or shamed.

“Assumptions are just ways we’ve learned to see the world, and they are built into just about every statement or question. So this is the dance of identifying, in a way that does not judge people, which of the mindsets or worldviews that are alive in our communities might be unintentionally getting in the way.”

Here are some of the assumptions that participants came up with (some have been reworded for clarity):

  • Big is the only way, and the inevitable way. 
  • Young people want to move away.
  • It’s cheaper to shop in a big town. 
  • Youth view: “There’s nothing to come back to.” 
  • A farmer is “just” a farmer.
  • Evolution of agriculture is bad.
  • Farmers have to make it on their own, alone. 
  • You can’t farm without government money.
  • Rural communities are already dead; nothing can be done to help them. 

Your Turn

What assumptions would you add to the list? Share your thoughts at

View all of the articles from this month’s Prairie Idea Exchange by following this link Connecting Ag and Community.

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