When I read or heard about farmers while growing up, I imagined they were people who wanted to provide for their families, which is still an admirable motivation.
I guess I wasn’t really aware of the bigger picture. I didn’t really know much about where my food was from except that I knew that my parents cooked it and that it came from a grocery store. Although true, there was so much more beyond those two facts that I didn’t consider.
The food and resources we sometimes take for granted (I know I did) are a result of the hard work of farmers across the county, state and country.
For decades, agriculture has been associated with production of essential food crops. Today, processing, marketing and distribution of crops and livestock products, etc., are all acknowledged as part of current agriculture. Thus, agriculture could be referred to as the production, processing, promotion and distribution of agricultural products.
Agriculture plays a critical role in the entire life of a given economy. Agriculture is the backbone of the economic system of a given country. In addition to providing food and raw material, agriculture also provides employment to a very large percentage of the population.
This week is the first annual Agriculture Awareness Week in Georgia. Agriculture in Georgia carries an economic impact of nearly $77 billion each year. Here on the Coastal Plain, farmers produce cotton, peanuts, timber, blueberries, pecans, soybeans and corn, just to name a few. Here in Bryan County, we have farmers who raise cattle, horses, poultry and goats that contribute to a variety of products for consumers locally, and within the state, country and internationally. We have many smaller scale or backyard vegetable/fruit gardens that contribute produce for the Richmond Hill Farmer’s Market every year; which will be opening March 28 this year.
So today, I for one would like to say thank you to the farmers who put their livelihood on the line so that I can put food on my plate, clothes on my back, and a roof over my head. Year after year farmers invest a great deal of time and money into their crops, usually taking on a great deal of risk.
Sadly, times have been particularly tough on farmers in our state over the past three to five years, yet they persevere through the trying times in hopes of a better and more productive tomorrow. I believe that this is a lesson we could all learn from. I challenge you to thank a farmer for providing the essential aspects of living we sometimes take for granted. If you have children or grandchildren tell them about the value of agriculture in terms of the food, clothes and buildings around them.
We have a lot to be thankful for here in Bryan County. Let’s do our part to pass the news. Let’s pass on legacy.