It’s National Ag Day, bringing to mind this snippet from famed radio commentator Paul Harvey:
And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.
God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer…
I recall hearing this commentary in the commercial for Dodge trucks during this year’s Super Bowl. It brought together all the emotions, sights and smells of the family farm. It gave me pride in America and led me to once again thank God for farmers. Not just because my husband and I work in agricultural services, but because of the delicious, wholesome foods farmers ultimately deliver to my table.
If you think back not too many years ago, families farmed to “survive.” They raised their own animals, butchered their own meat, managed a well-kept garden and raised crops for their livestock. Farm families traded their goods for medical needs, gardening tools and other supplies. (Little House on the Prairie anyone?) Today, only about 2% of Americans raise food for our growing population and for other countries. They farm so you and I and our families can “thrive.” We have the time to thrive in our daily activities — career, family life, church, school, sports, community and even free time. (Yes, I’m sure we have a lot more free time than farm families used to have.)
The power of the American family farm on food safety and our food choices is awesome! Think about it — farmers are experts in their fields, literally. Beef cattle, hog and dairy farmers — fruit farmers, vegetable growers, wine makers and nut growers — they spend each and every day making their products safe, wholesome and nutritious for us.
As Americans, we have the freedom still to raise our own animals and grow our own vegetables for food. We can dabble in the dirt all we want — all that we have time to accomplish. I’m personally thankful I can easily access great-tasting Certified Angus Beef ® steaks, fresh produce and all I need to make a meal for my family. That gives me more time for the things that I enjoy most.
Thank you, thank you, American farmers!