Thanksgiving has always had a special place in my heart. As a farmer myself, I have never taken for granted all the sweat, tears and long hours each and every farmer since the dawn of time has endured to raise food and other valuable products for the world. It takes a special person to tackle the task of nurturing animals and crops against impossible odds.
Still, as Rob Brenneman of Brenneman Pork eloquently said to a group of food bloggers “Every farmer wakes up every day and says, ‘I’m gonna feed the world today.’ They don’t have any room for doubt. They’re just doing the best job that they possibly can, every single day. They have to. They’re the first to eat it.” Like Brenneman, farmers set out every day to tackle the task at hand to place food on the plates for their family and the world.
The first American pig farmer also knew the value of his pig. In 1539, Hernando de Soto brought 13 pigs to the United States to help sustain the troops. After seeing how valuable his pigs were to the Native Americans, de Soto used them in peace negotiations.
This season of thankfulness, it is important to reflect on the strong family heritage and blind faith that built America’s agriculture and shaped this country. While no words can ever properly thank the farmers and ranchers, this Thanksgiving as you gather around the dinner table with family and friends say an extra blessing for the hands that raise your food.
For me, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful:
- Today and every day, I am thankful for the farmers and ranchers who do the impossible each and every day to raise the food I eat and essential products I use daily. I am grateful for the agriculturalists who openly embrace new technology, adjust management practices based on sound science and strive to do the right thing each day.
- I am grateful for the entire agriculture support group that takes the raw products on its journey from farm to food and other important products available on shelves of the neighborhood store. I would be remorse if I did not say thank you to all those involved in agriculture lending a hand directly and indirectly.
- As a farmer, I am truly thankful that when I am not writing I am able to farm beside my husband and kids. That I am able to get my hands dirty, celebrate the successes and keep my head high through the hardships — knowing tomorrow will bring a new sunrise to admire on the farm.
- As a member of the agriculture community, I am very thankful for the consumer. You cannot be an individual walking on this planet without being a part of agriculture. While many will not loudly acknowledge the agriculture contributions to their lives, the consumer supports us quietly every time money is spent on the products that started on the farm.
- Lastly, I am grateful to tell your agriculture stories and provide education to the pig farmer and the consumer.
God bless the American pig farmers and all farmers and ranchers.