Recognizing farmers’ contributions to the economy and our country
National Farmers Day is a time to thank and acknowledge the farmers throughout our country for the work they do to provide for us and supply us with many of the products we use. From clothing and shoes to the items in our medicine cabinet, many derive from the corn, soy and cotton that grow in the fields across America. And it’s the farmers that work from sunrise to sunset daily, caring for crops and livestock, to keep our nation fed.
The holiday began as Old Farmers Day[i] and was a way to recognize farmers’ contributions to society and the greater economy. It was set on October 12 to give farmers an opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated, when the harvest for so many crops would be complete. With shifting crop acres and longer growing seasons, harvest has extended well past October 12. But the holiday continues nevertheless, and many ag dealers and providers lengthen their celebration through the end of October.
As dairy producer Land ‘O Lakes[ii] noted, “less than 2 percent of us help sustain the rest of us.” That’s both impressive and staggering to recognize that such a small percentage of the population remains responsible for so much. It puts it into perspective just how farmers have laid the foundation of our nation and our food supply in ways that most of us don’t really stop to consider. Not only those of us who work in ag, but perhaps especially those of us who work in ag. We are often so closely ingrained in the biotechnology and mechanics of ag, that it’s important to take a step back and see the larger picture ourselves.
This week, let’s celebrate the colorful bounty that is produced and delivered by the thousands of farmers throughout the country. From the sweetness of a Honeycrisp apple, to a bright field of sunflowers, to the bleats of a flock of sheep, let’s thank the farmers who tend to their fields and herds, ensuring that the finest of Mother Nature is on display.