Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanks Boys!

Thanksgiving is the biggest food holiday of the year. The prescription is simple: Eat massive amounts of turkey; or hopefully beef, stuffing, mashed and sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and top it off with pumpkin pie. If, after the feast has concluded, you can muster up the energy, you drag yourself to the couch to watch football and enjoy another of the time-tested Thanksgiving traditions, the nap.

The Thanksgiving meal is a modern marvel of sorts. Your dinner table will be filled with a cornucopia of foods with growing locations as diverse as their flavors. Many of our cranberries will come from Wisconsin; Minnesota is the state that produces more turkeys than any other, your yummy yams may have came from North Carolina, the sweet potato leader, and there is a good chance your great tasting beef came from Nebraska. Thanksgiving Day dinner is a meal that illustrates how efficient and economical American farmers and ranchers are as well as the entire American agriculture system.

The statistics of Thanksgiving Day dinner can be mind-boggling: Americans will eat over 45 million turkeys this Thursday and over 80 million pounds of cranberries will be consumed. In virtually every corner of our nation, supermarkets will have all the ingredients necessary to make an impressive meal. While the numbers are staggering, it’s simply amazing that our nation’s food system can grow, process, and transport all that food to many locations around the country that can’t support their own agriculture.

With a growing disconnect between farms and consumers, more and more people have no idea where their food comes from. They simply expect grocery stores and restaurants to have what they want, when they want it and at a reasonable price. Thanks to modern American agriculture, they usually do, which is truly amazing when you think about the many facets involved.

Less than 2% of Americans spend their days growing, raising and sharing the nutrients that will soon be eaten by consumers around the world. This is definitely something to thank the people at the beginning of the food chain for, our American farmers and ranchers. 
Due to some great technology, thanking a farmer or rancher can be an easy task. Use social media to thank our producers and to spread the word and encourage others to thank them as well. Are you on Twitter? Then, send out a message with #ThankAFarmer hashtag in it. Or, share links to U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance or other farm organizations on your Facebook wall and encourage others to do the same.  Add a pin to Pinterest about your appreciation for agriculture.  There are thousands of ways to show our farmers and ranchers we care, so I ask you to take a few minutes to do just one.  

As the last of the leaves fall off the trees, Americans across our country will gather with family and friends to celebrate a holiday with roots as deep as our country is old: Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving causes us to reflect on the many blessings of the past year. Let us also remember to thank the American farmers and ranchers who labored to provide the wonderful bounty we are about to enjoy. 
So I would like to take this moment to thank the following: Dustin (the brother from the same mother), Lyle (brother of the doughnut provider), John (aka Schurman), Duane (that funny guy), Kenny (that old guy that lives in the tractor), Brad (the cousin), Lyle (somedays I like to call him Dad), Grandpa Fred ("hey, who's that short little guy", sorry inside joke), Mike (the doughnut provider), Brett (the other brother from the same mother).

Thanks boys! You fill my belly with yummy-ness, and I sure do appreciate it!

...that's what she said

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