Wise Beyond Her Years
Mar 23, 2011
Feeding hungry world is a challenge and a responsibility. No one knows that better than the farmers who work day in and day out to put food on the global dinner table. Last week was National Ag Week, which features an essay contest for students. This year’s essay contest winner, Nora Faris of Concordia, Mo., is a ninth grade student wise beyond her years. Her essay focused on the importance of the American farmer in feeding the world. The following is an excerpt from her essay.
"In this modern age of supermarkets and 24-hour fast food restaurants, it has become increasingly hard for the American public to fathom where their food comes from. Long gone are the days when a chicken dinner meant selecting a bird from the henhouse. Today’s consumer, faced with an endless array of choices, selects their poultry with little knowledge of its origin, unaware of the work that went into producing and dispatching the bird. They fail to realize the vital connection between farm and food, between production and consumption. Little do they realize that without our nation’s strong agricultural infrastructure of farmers, their grocery store shelves would be bare.
Monday, I wrote about transparency and our quest to find and promote it in agriculture. The reason we seek such transparency is for the exact reason she described, consumers don’t have a clear understanding of where there food comes from. This well written girl shows her foresight when she writes:
"As America’s population continues to grow, a farmer’s job is to keep up with the escalating demand for food. They will have to play multiple roles in their quest to provide nutritious, affordable products for more than 300 million Americans. Farmers will become inventors, developing devices that will improve crop yields and abolish dated farming practices. They will become delegates for agriculture, lobbying for the advancement of farming in their legislatures. Most importantly, farmers will become naturalists, determining the best solutions for responsible soil, water and resource management.
As farmers, the future of our industry rests on your shoulders. I am fully confident in your ability to remain steady through the storm that is likely to come. I am reminded of the FFA Creed which states "I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds - achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years." When you move forward as delegates, inventors and naturalists you will continue to be farmers.
With the help of initiatives like Farmers Feeding the World and organizations like Heifer International we will not only be able to combat global hunger but to ensure that students like Nora Faris are able to have a future in agriculture too.
Do you think farmers are up for the challenge?