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Thanking farmers in this Thanksgiving season is a responsibility we all have. Our farmers have the noble task to grow the food we eat and now that we are getting ready to enjoy our Thanksgiving feast it just feels right to recognize their efforts and the noble cause they have for feeding America.
Growing produce, taking care of cattle, swine, beef and poultry, doing what is right and supporting sustainable farming so that we all can enjoy the foods we love in the years to come is what farmers do everyday.
That is why I want to express my gratitude to the farmers for bringing food to our tables. This year for me has been a learning experience and during this journey I have had the chance to visit many farms and getting to know farmers from various regions within the United States.
As you know, for me is of prime importance to know from where the food I feed my family comes from and to become more knowledgeable about food and the processes that go along for the produce, dairy and meats we consume. And in that manner take better decisions when building my menu for offering a balanced nutrition to the ones I love.
In this year’s travels I have met many farmers thanks in part to Best Food Facts and the National Pork Board. And I have learned that farms in America are mostly family owned and in many cases farms have been running for many years and have been passed from generation to generation.
I have also learned that farming is a business and in many ways it is a risky business too. Farmers depend a lot on the climate and the environment and invest tremendous amount of work and resources to increase productivity and deliver results in order to be able to continue in business. These family owned farms are also employers so many families depend on them for their own livelihoods.
Farmers invest on their higher education too, many of them have an agriculture degree, doctorates and PHDs and run their farms with sophisticated software and machinery but by no means are wealthy.
Like many of us medium class citizens they are savvy on how they manage their finances and access credit lines to be able to operate, but aren’t in farming to become wealthy. They also take advantage of cutting edge technologies and science to grow better crops, produce better feed for the cattle while taking good care of the land to achieve sustainable farms protecting the environment and avoiding waste.
During the holiday season farmers do not take a break. For them vacation is almost an impossible thing. Running a farm requires a lot of commitment and sacrifice. But they continue farming because these families are passionate about what they do.
This article is a small to tribute to farmers. Join me thanking farmers because without them our world wouldn’t be the way it is and our tables wouldn’t look as beautiful yearlong. Meet my farmer friends, I encourage you to follow them and ask questions. There is no better person to answer your questions about food than a farmer.
Lauren Arbogast, an avid AGvocate who married into agriculture onto a third generation beef, poultry, and crop farm located in Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Aside from being a farmer’s wife, she’s a mom and a professional that works for the Virginia Cooperative Extension, a resource for Virginia Tech and Virginia State. She’s also the author behind the blog PaintTheTownAg.com where she shares her family’s chapter in the big book of agriculture and most importantly a woman with big heart and a farmer that I can call a friend.
Krista Stauffer, the The Farmer’s Wifee she owns a dairy farm in Washington state and got married to a first generation dairy farmer. Krista is the mom of three beautiful children and owner of one hundred and fifty cows between jerseys, Holsteins and crosses. Krista and her husband take good care of these cows all year long and are completely devoted to their lifestyle, their family and their cows. Krista is a member of Ask the Farmers a diverse group of farmers, ranchers, farm wives, agronomists, custom harvesters, veterinarians and AG advocates that share the passion for agriculture and are willing to spread their knowledge with consumers answering burning questions. Krista with her kindness captured my heart. Now I can say she is also my friend and the inspiration behind the Sunny Side Up Doughnut Breakfast recipe she encourage me to make.
Jenny Dewey Rohrich, a Prairie Californian girl with a lot of spunk and a contagious smile. She enjoys cooking and photography and is a fellow food blogger too. Jenny describes herself as “Daughter of a butcher, wife of a farmer. California born, cultivating a legacy of family, food, and farming in North Dakota“. She loves gluten so much that sells apparel with this theme. In her farm they grow wheat, corn, soybeans, and sunflowers. Jenny is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and member of the American Soybean Association’s Advocacy & Training Team. And her recent accomplishment includes writing a book about the history of wheat in North Dakota that will be published soon. Jenny is a fun gal, full of energy and positive thoughts, a sunflower girl like me and a farmer friend.
Charlotte Rommereim, she’s a fifth generation pork farmer and along with her husband Steve Rommereim they own the Rommereim pork farm in South Dakota. Charlotte is a dietitian, a wife, and a mom. Her family farm started in 1920’s where they raised Poland China hogs. A breed that nowadays is only raised as a specialty due to its fat content. In the old days porks were raised for their fat but nowadays pork breeds are leaner and farmers are focused on the quality of the meat instead. Charlotte’s candor and pork industry knowledge captivated me and we had a lot of fun cooking together at the San Antonio Culinary Institute of America. We cooked mole verde from Oaxaca, Poc-Chuc from Yucatan and white rice.
Now that you know my farmer friends join me in thanking them all they do for us consumers.
Grateful for the farmers that allow me to have food available in my family table all year round.