How are you connected to agriculture? Maybe you’re the third generation on your family farm, carrying on the tradition; or maybe the only time farming crosses your mind is when you pick up some groceries at the store during the week. Either way, YOU are connected to agriculture.
If you’re a farmer, then you know this story quite well, but if you’re not, then hopefully this offers some insight. Think of the last time you bought milk, meat, eggs, or any other produce from the store. On second thought, let’s look past just produce, how about peanut butter, chocolate chips, and coffee (life-saving trio right there). Whatever you bought, it didn’t end up on those grocery shelves by accident. Farmers all over the country put their time, hard work, and dedication into producing those products, and they continue to do it every day.
Not Just a Job
For farmers and producers, feeding the world isn’t a 9-5 job, it’s a way of life. Farming isn’t just raising animals or planting crops, it’s staying up all night with that newborn calf, late nights and long days, sore backs and muddy boots. It’s never predictable, but it’s worth it at the end of the day. Worth it because of the blood, sweat, and tears put forth by past generations, and worth it because someday, future generations will benefit from today’s work.
Its a Tradition
Think of your family, chances are you probably have some traditions that you couldn’t imagine living without. Whether it’s an annual family picnic, cheering for a favorite sports team, or eating grandma’s famous meatloaf for Christmas dinner, traditions make us who we are, and they unite us. Well, in many ways farming is the same way. The majority of U.S. farms are family owned and operated, and have been in the family for multiple generations. These farmers are following a family tradition, and while it would be nice to make a profit, their main reason for keeping the tradition alive is their love for the land, the animals, and the people that make up their ‘farming family’.
So, next time you go grocery shopping or visit the farmer’s market, think of all your traditions and how much they mean to you. Think about how much love and dedication it has taken to keep that tradition going throughout the years. Then look at whatever product you just bought, and appreciate the care and commitment that came from the farmer who worked tirelessly to produce it. It may not be obvious at first, but we all really are connected to agriculture, in more ways than one.