Food…something that unites us

Nov. 16-22 is not just the week before that great eating holiday known as Thanksgiving, but it is National Farm-City Week when we celebrate the important partnership between farm and urban residents in providing the nation with a bounty of food, fiber, fuel and a growing list of other products.

It’s a time for friendly but serious conversation between farmers and urban folks. Most people are now more than three generations removed from the farm—grandpa and grandma no longer live on the farm and host Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

Urbanites no longer get first hand experience playing with a bucket calf or “walking beans.” Urban folks hear in the media that farmers are “making” them overweight and that their meat supply comes from “factory farms.” If the recent political election taught us anything, it should have made us recognize that few things are “as they seem.”

Our children’s elementary teacher used to say, “I won’t believe everything I hear about you if you don’t believe everything you hear about me.” It is only when we get to know each other that we understand what truly happens on the job, in the office, on the farms.

Food is the one thing that unites us—we all need it and most of us love it. Everyone eats to live and some of us live to eat. Modern technology has come to farming just as it has come to medical, construction, media and all other facets of life. Grandpa and grandma’s family farm is still there and it has become even bigger and better—and even more fun to visit.

National Farm City Week is a good time to start the conversation about why we as Americans—due to modern technology, combined with old fashioned family work ethics, love of the land, and ethical humane animal care, have the most abundant, cleanest, safest, most efficient and yes, percentage wise, the cheapest food in the world.

We eat well because of the American farmer. Eating well gives us the opportunity to excel in our careers, spices up our social life and stabilizes our family.

However, farmers do not work alone to provide the good life. We owe our convenient packaging and efficient delivery system to urban dwellers. We thank our grocers, restaurant owners, gas station managers, and our clothing manufactures for delivering our food, fuel and fiber. We appreciate our bankers and insurance people for protecting all of us with sound planning.

One out of three people in Nebraska work in some way in the food and fiber industry. You do not have to live on a farm to be involved in agriculture. If you eat or wear clothing—you are involved with farming.

We are all united in this effort to feed, fuel, and cloth the world. Let us celebrate this week and every week those blessings.

Jo Anderson

Farm Bureau Ag Promotion Committee member, District 7