On our “hobby farm” we’ve raised everything from donkeys to hogs to miniature goats. Right now there are twenty baby chicks in our basement while Jeremiah puts the finishing touches on our new coop.
Working together as a family on a meaningful project will bring you closer together and instill lifelong lessons; this is definitely true for farming families.
Here in Kansas, we are surrounded by farmers of all types. They raise cattle and harvest milo, corn, soybeans, wheat and other grains and vegetables. There are bee farms, lavender farms, buffalo ranches and dairy operations easily within driving distance.
Too many people think of farming operations as large corporate ventures that are too far removed from the average consumer. With that in mind, there are four things I want you to take away from this post:
- Land is a farmer’s greatest asset, therefore you might say they are the world’s original environmentalists. Soil, water and air quality are vital concerns for the farmer, and conservation is key.
- About 96% of farms in America are family-owned.
- Since 1980, farmers have reduced the use of pesticides by 20%. There are continued efforts to keep this momentum going because pesticides (and machines used to apply them) are expensive, and there are valid concerns about contamination.
- Putting healthy, high-quality food on the table is just as important to the farmer as it is to you; after all, he has a family to feed, too!
One very outstanding farming family lives right here in our state; the Blythes were recently honored by being featured on America’s Farmers. The Blythe Ranch handles over 500 head of cattle and produces hay, wheat, corn, alfalfa and soybeans. Debbie Lyons-Blythe, who is a busy mother to five children, was named America’s Farmers Mom of the Year in 2012. (I wonder if I could ever earn a really wonderful title like that?) And by a really neat coincidence, there was actually a story in my local newspaper today about Debbie because she came to speak about farm advocacy right here in my community!
Wherever your day takes you, and however it ends, chances are it began with a farmer. That’s the motto of America’s Farmers and it’s a good reminder of just how important the farmer is to the vitality of our nation.
You can meet the other featured America’s Farmers families by clicking here.
Did you grow up on or near a farm? Which food or farm product would you say is most important to your family?
This post was created in partnership with America’s Farmers, a Monsanto advocacy campaign. All opinions are my own.