Farmers & Cookies

January 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm Leave a comment

If you haven’t heard of I Love Farmers.  They Feed My Soul., you should probably check it out!   According to their website, they represent “an effort to create a conversation among our peers about our food, our farmers and our future, we have committed to getting connected. We want to get the word out about where our food comes from and how it is produced.”   Here’s a blog post from their site to give you a taste of what they’re about:

So there I was… sitting on my couch perusing Facebook. My air conditioner quit working. Mother Nature decided to gift us with a 90 degree day in the middle of October. And I decided what better time than the present to write my very first blog on why I love farmers. What I thought would be my easiest blog ever, quickly caused me to do some deep thinking on why I really do love farmers.

Growing up immersed in agriculture, I guess I just never thought about it much. My hometown of Kingsburg, California – a suburb south of Fresno known for its Swedish roots – is almost entirely in existence because of the robust local agriculture sector. My father has worked for farming companies his entire life, starting as a grape harvester mechanic and now managing a few thousand acres of various crops. My mother is a 4-H leader and manages the family sheep flock. I, along with my three older siblings, had fairly extensive livestock projects in both 4-H and FFA. But my love for farmers does not stem from my family roots or from my past experience raising animals.

Does it happen to be that I love farmers because my job is funded by them? I work for the California Poultry Federation; we are a non-profit trade association that is funded by family poultry companies. Yes, they do pay my salary, but I don’t love farmers because of the money. I work in agriculture because I have a passion for agriculture!

After spending a considerable amount of time contemplating why I love farmers, I had my epiphany! By this time, I had moved from the couch to the floor positioning myself directly beneath the fan in the living room. While munching on a homemade peanut butter cookie that I snuck from my roommate, I realized this is why I love farmers…cookies.

It was a farmer who planted the peanut plants that made the peanut butter; a farmer that milked the cows which provided the milk to make the butter; a farmer that grew and harvested the cane sugar plants; and a farmer that grew the wheat which was used to make the flour. Farmers are providers! Day in and day out they produce items that we need.

Additionally, they go to work every day completely dependent on Mother Nature. This week, I worry about being able to sleep at night with no air conditioning and this “intolerable” heat. Yet farmers lay awake wondering what this abnormal climate will do to their crops, their pocket book, and their families way of life.

Air, Food, Water and Shelter are the four basic necessities of human life. Farmers provide two of them – food and shelter. What other industry does that? Farmers make home-made peanut butter cookies possible. Farmers are providers.

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