Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tell a farmer ‘thank you.’ Today.
by Susan Crowell
North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler was eating lunch with some staff members at a local restaurant recently when a woman walked by, laid a napkin on his table, and kept on walking to the cash register.
“I picked up the napkin and noticed she had written a note on it,” Troxler wrote in the department’s blog March 11.
“It said, ‘Thank you for protecting our food supply.’“
The woman was gone before Troxler could respond.
What a wonderful, unexpected reaffirmation of the work Troxler and others in the North Carolina department of agriculture are doing. A simple, heartfelt thank you.
Farm and Dairy received a similar hand-written note from a Geauga County reader last week, too. All it said was: “God bless the American Farmer! No one else is going to!!”
This is National Ag Week, and National Ag Day is traditionally celebrated on the first day of spring — this year on March 20. It is, I think, a good time to say thanks.
Thanks for doing a hundred thankless jobs. Who else wants to muck out stalls or scrape alleys or haul manure? Who else wants to milk cows two and three times a day, seven days a week? Who else wants to castrate or dehorn calves, or fill out reams of forms at the Farm Service Agency office? Who else wants to work in one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States?
National Agriculture Week is a fantastic time to for a two-way conversation about agriculture to happen. First, we need to take this opportunity to tell the story of our farms and ranches to our neighbors and local communities. Invite them out for a tour, or make a presentation about your operation to civic group. The sky is the limit when it comes to ways of sharing your story. And second, for consumers, this a chance for you to contact a local producer and tell them you appreciate the fact that they grow your food. Or support them at a local farmers market. These are the little things that can keep us connected as communities and neighbors.