Nov 23, 2011
Once again we find ourselves in the season of thankfulness - a time of year when all the Blessings are being counted. 2011 will go down in the history books as a year packed full of extreme weather challenges. Enduring a tough year would have most individuals finding themselves V.I.P. guest at a self-pity party. However, most farmers and ranchers will chalk it up to lessons learned, roll up his or her sleeves, tip their hat, and give a big “bring it on, again” grin.
Personally, I am counting my blessings twice. Every day I am thankful that God gave me the passion and talent to raise livestock and crops for food and other wonderful products for the World. Farming and Ranching may be viewed as chosen career track but for me and my fellow farmers it is a way of life. My agriculture career path has brought me to working at desk behind cubicle walls, walking up the steps of the Capitol, and sitting at EPA board rooms. I am thankful for the days that I can enjoy the smell of fresh turn dirt or rain over the horizon, witness a beautiful sunset over pasture greens, or hear sounds of “moos” greeting me at the fenceline. I am thankful many times over that I farm side by side with my husband, daughter, and son.
On October 31, the world population clock reached 7 Billion people- a milestone that sends most minds spinning. The rapid accelerating number of mouths to feed with the same or less resources would make most individuals throw in the towel. However, history has shown that farmers and ranchers are up for the challenge. A 2007 Washington State University Study demonstrated that 13% more beef was raised from 13% fewer cattle. I am thankful for the modern technology, proven practices, and sheer innovation that has not only improved efficiencies on the farm but also preserves the land. Compare to 1977, a pound of beef produced today yielded 18% less carbon emission, took 30% less land, and used 14% less water. In addition, the same open spaces that our cattle graze has provided lush habitat for wildlife for years.
I am thankful that from this day forward I will be facing the World Population Challenge spiked with emotional government regulations with my fellow agriculturalists. Challenges spark innovation and the power of people. Farming and Ranching rich history will guide my generation and the next generation to tackle world challenges head on together.
So today on "Food Thanks" Day, I say THANK YOU to all farmers and ranchers who endure long hours, stressful times, and extreme weather to provide the world with abundant choices of nutrient-rich food.
I say THANK YOU to all the individuals that assist the farmer and rancher in making educational decisions and improving technology: Agronomist, Veterinarian, Salesman, Nutritionist, Researcher, Educator, and Engineers (to name a few).
I say THANK YOU to all individuals that haul-truck, train, airplane-ship, the raw crop to every part of the food processing chain. I am also thankful for all individuals that work in food processing plants, grocery stores, grain elevator, and restaurants.
Join me in saying Food Thanks.