Recently, I went to an agricultural conference, and listened to a panel discussion about farmers and farming, ranchers and ranching – and this is what I gleaned:
Farmers and ranchers turn the fertile soil into nutritious food for all of us to eat.
Farming is very high-tech, farmers use very sophisticated methods, like GPS which can measure a field to the square inch.
Many of the methods used in farming and ranching are cutting edge technology; they are constantly changing, for example, farmers use newer cultivation methods to reduce chemicals and improve yields. Ranchers use embryo transplants to improve genetics and quality of beef.
Many farmers and ranchers are highly educated. Many have bachelors degrees in all fields of study, especially agriculture oriented, such as: ag. engineering, ag. economics and ag. management, animal, soil and crop science. Farmers and ranchers also earn degrees in business, finance, economics, biology, chemistry.
Farmers and ranchers are hard working – literally dawn to dusk. They are frequently out of the house by 5 am, not returning home till 9 pm.
Many farmers and ranchers get to work with their spouses and children. Fewer get divorced, because they spend a lot of time together, and depend fully on each other.
Most farmers and ranchers have home offices.
Most farmers and ranchers get to come home for lunch, or their spouse brings their lunch out to them in the field.
They take huge risks, and are considered the greatest gamblers in the world, borrowing huge sums of money each year against their crop or herd.
Today’s farmers and ranchers are personnel managers, property managers, engineers, soil scientists, conservationists, herd laborers, computer experts, financial planners, macro-economists in a global market, geologists, hydrologists, commodities brokers, government program analysts.
The food grown in the USA is the safest in the world.
Farming and ranching is extremely competitive. In the USA, we demand that our farmers pay a fair wage and use safe chemicals – which other countries don’t demand of their farmers. Yet, our farmers who grow crops on the world market receive the same price for their crop as those grown in other countries. Note to self: Buy American grown food whenever possible, for safety reasons if none other!
Farmers and ranchers are self-sufficient – they take care of themselves. They fix their own problems and make their own repairs. Their shops are fully equipped, and are set up with welders and hydraulic tools, making such repairs possible.
Farmers and ranchers aren’t in their profession for the money – the risks are constant and are terrific. They are not only dealing with constantly changing global markets, but are also at the mercy of the weather. Sometimes the weather is on their side, sometimes the weather – even a simple storm – can cripple their operation.
Farmers and ranchers are slammed by the media and the public on a regular basis, yet they have an undaunted spirit, and carry on with the job at hand.
We must look to the farmer and rancher with the utmost respect and admiration. They are the risk-takers. We are wholly dependent upon them for our food supply. What would we do without them? They provide us with our most basic of needs – food and nutrition.
THANK YOU AMERICA’S FARMERS AND RANCHERS!