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Celebrate! It's National Ag Week


by Bev Berens

Published: Friday, March 8, 2019

Telling Your Story

National Ag Week is March 10-16 and Ag Day is March 14. It's time to celebrate all of agriculture, spotlight the industry and draw attention to all that is good and positive and real in agriculture.

Do you have any special celebrations planned with farm organizations to which you belong? Will you share your agricultural experiences and maybe even samples of what you grow with school children in the community? Will you recite an oral family history to the next generations of family members? Will you cook a big celebratory steak at home on the grill and toast the industry?

Mostly, we will probably all keep our heads down, put shoulder to plow, and just keep working. But it is certainly an opportunity to bring good attention to an industry that needs some moral support if you can. And if the opportunity to share what you do with consumers of any age arises, take advantage if you can. You might be pleasantly surprised how supportive and encouraging the non-ag person can be. Most often, their ignorance on ag issues, methods and culture stems from the distance between them and the food they eat. Of course, that isn't always true; and anti-ag terrorist organizations like PETA and HSUS are ignorant because they choose to believe things that are ignorant, contorted, misleading, and often just plain false.

For the most part, consumers are just honest folks who don't understand how their food is produced and gets to their plate. They don't understand that it's families, real people with kids and interests beyond the farm, that make the complexities of food production happen in bite sized pieces all across the land.

Food and fiber are both fundamental and monumental at the same time, especially when you consider the mountains of food consumed every day all over the world. Everyone, from ruler to peasant, eats.

In honor of National Ag Week, I give you this poem by Amelia E. Barr (1831-1919). Ignore the fact she refers to all the occupations, especially farmers, as "he's" and understand where she lived in history. The words are true for both the "he's" and "she's" that make the ag industry great!

THE FARMER

The king may rule o'er land and sea,

The lord may live right royally.

The soldier ride in pomp and pride,

The sailor roam o'er ocean wide;

But this or that, whate'er befall,

The farmer he must feed them all.

The writer thinks, the poet sings,

The craftsmen fashion wondrous things,

The doctor heals, the lawyer pleads,

The miner follows the precious leads;

But this or that, whate'er befall,

The farmer he must feed them all.

The merchant he may buy and sell,

The teacher do his duty well;

But men may toil through busy days,

Or men may stroll through pleasant ways;

From king to beggar, whate'er befall,

The farmer he must feed them all.

The farmer's trade is one of worth,

He's partner with the sky and earth,

He's partner with the sun and rain,

And no man loses for his gain;

And men may rise, or men may fall,

But the farmer he must feed them all.

God bless the man who sows the wheat,

Who finds us milk and fruit and meat;

May his purse be heavy, his heart be light;

His cattle and corn and all go right;

God bless the seeds his hands let fall,

For the farmer he must feed them all.

Bev Berens is a mom to 4-H and FFA members in Michigan. Do you have a story to share? Email her at uphillfarm494@yahoo.com.

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