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Idaho Enterprise

Give thanks to farmers and ranchers

Dec 04, 2023 10:38AM ● By Allison Eliason

Thanksgiving week is often the pinnacle point of heartfelt gratitude.  The holiday helps us to slow down and take time to see all of the goodness in our lives.  We give thanks for the families around us, the homes and careers we have, the opportunities for growing and learning and the many luxuries we have that we surely take for granted.  

  igh on that list of thanks should be the farmers and ranchers that help feed families around the world.  This may seem like an obvious choice but I wonder how many people actually realize that without the backbreaking work of the agriculture industry, their thanksgiving would look very different.

From the turkey at the center of the thanksgiving table to the stuffing and corn and mashed potatoes and even the sweet potato souffle, it all began in someone’s field.  Those tasty rolls began as a small wheat seed that was cultivated, harvested, milled and prepared into the flour you used to make great-grandma’s best ever roll recipe.  That sweet whipped cream started at the dairy and made its way to the shelves for you to whip up for a tasty pie garnish.  That beautiful garden salad is brought to you by the row crop farmers tending their lettuce, carrot and onion fields, just to start.     

There isn’t a single bit of Thanksgiving dinner you could have without the management and stewardship of farmers and ranchers. No, I take that back.  In this day and age there are plenty of synthetic food alternatives and imitations that you could choose from.  But synthetic foods only imitating the real flavor of a savory plate of meat and potatoes could never compare to the real thing.

Besides thanking farmers and ranchers for the foods you get to enjoy, not only on Thanksgiving day, but every day, we owe them a thanks because without them, there is so much of life we wouldn’t enjoy.  Imagine if you can, a world without large operations growing masses of food products to sell around the world.  Imagine what life would be like if you were responsible to grow and provide all of the food that you and your family would eat.

Tending to animals and crops, harvesting the meats and vegetables, processing the farm products into kitchen ready goods would be all consuming.  Think back to our pioneer ancestors and the time they gave to butcher their own animals, churn their butter and grind their wheat.  If we were completely dependent on providing all our own foods we would either have very little or spend all our time growing it.

With advancements in technology came great improvements in agriculture that allowed farmers and ranchers the capacity to take on more crops and more acreage to feed more families than just their own.  As people could purchase foods, it in turn allowed them to use their time and energy in other ways.  People could follow their dreams and new ideas, whether it was an exciting career, traveling adventures or enjoying the arts.

Today we have celebrities, stars and popular figures that do very little to provide for themselves, but rather spend all their time entertaining us.  Around the world are presidents, leaders and dignitaries that work to make our countries safer to raise our families.  Our children have chances to learn more things in more ways than our forefathers could have ever dreamed of.  And all of these opportunities and more are afforded to us because we have an agriculture industry that takes on the responsibility to feed the world.

This week as you count your blessings and all the good you have, remember that so much of it comes from the good men and women that labor in fields across the world.  They deserve your thanks this season.

Thank you
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