Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 19: Who Grows Your Food, and What are They Doing for You?

I have now discussed GMOs, CAFOs, and the challenges that farmers are facing today.  What I want to do today is take a look at the people on the front lines, living every day with these challenges and knowing that they have to make a crop, raise a family, and make sure you have something on your plate three times every day.  

We can sit and bicker all day if we want to about who's right about GMO labeling, CAFOs, or other similar issues.  I listened to an hour and a half of Food Dialogues Iowa tonight and already got to watch other people argue about this.  I'm not in the mood to continue this argument myself.  Tonight.

Let's look at where your food comes from.  Go for a drive down the highway, and you'll see the soybeans, wheat, rye, corn, cattle, poultry barns, and hog buildings on the side of the road.  Where does your food come from?  Those fields.  Who cares for them?  Your food is cared for by people who care a lot about you.  If farmers and ranchers did not care about you, like some of the fear tactic supporters would love you to believe, You wouldn't be here still.  The truth is that the people who raise your food are on your school board, in the classroom, volunteering in your town, coaching your kids ball teams, working with your band, and singing next to you at church.  These people are passionate about what they do, but they also care about their community.  Want the cold hard truth about these people?  They're just like you and me.  

When I was young my dad was a dispatcher for our city police department, and just like farm kids, my dad had to work on holidays, his birthday, our birthdays, when the weather was treacherous, and through some family functions.  You know what?  I don't love him any less.  I love him even more.  I knew that he had a duty to others and he would be back as soon as he could be.  We can rip on farmers all we want, but you can bet anything that those pigs, turkeys, chickens, cattle, have to be fed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter.  Dairy cattle still have to be milked twice a day (or three times per day, which I've realized is becoming more common than I realized).  Where do you think those folks will be?  Not the first one to open presents on Christmas morning, or the first to sit down at Thanksgiving.  They will likely be the first awake in the morning to get their daily work done and get back to their family as soon as they can.  We often overlook some of these things.  

Everyone slams farmers for spreading manure and making the air stink, driving a big tractor down a road, slowing traffic, or for a handful of things that they consider annoying or inconvenient.  We do this for you all.  The world doesn't stop getting hungry, and food isn't falling out of the sky, so here's my salute to the farmer.  You're a special asset to society.  With Collegiate FFA, we have decided to do our part to give back to farmers in the area by hosting a "Thank A Farmer Breakfast."  This is our turn to feed those who feed us every day.  

Take a minute to thank a farmer.  They are on the front lines every day working to feed every single one of us, and continue to provide the world's most abundant, affordable, and accessible food supply in the world.

Linking up with Holly's challenge here.

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