Heartbeat of economy starts with recognition of agriculture

Dave Bergmeier

Recognizing the contribution of farmers and ranchers and what it means to our country is noted during National Ag Day on March 24 and National Ag Week March 22 to 28.

Every year High Plains agriculture faces unprecedented challenges—droughts, floods and tornadoes. Add on trade wars, embargoes and regulatory nightmares and this year is going to be especially challenging as the United States will need to work its way through impact of coronavirus.

Agriculture is not for those who lack long-term optimism. It is for the believers in economic opportunity and a belief in God. It is not a mystery why farmers and ranchers are among the most supportive of military men and women. They recognize soldiers enter uncharted waters and face unknowns, and yet with common sense and street smarts they are able to defeat their opponent.

This month is rightfully set aside to recognize the men and women who go out and feed not only our country but also the world and do so with the support of agriculture partners in an efficient manner with precious resources. It can be taken for granted even by those of us who work inside the industry.

Not all that long many rural and urban dwellers had a relative who was actively engaged in day-to-day agricultural production. The continuing integration of technology and modern production means most producers are able to expand their operations and grow more food.

The Agriculture Council of America, Overland Park, Kansas, rightfully looks at all aspects of what agriculture should mean to all Americans. It offers four points from a brochure off its website www.agday.org that are worth sharing. It states every American should:

Understand how food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced;

Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy;

Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products; and

Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food, fiber and renewable resource industries.

Re-enforcing those points is essential and it is good to see the Agriculture Council of America, other ag organizations and farm media embrace those ideals as at the heart of it all starts with the individual farmer and rancher who uses timely technology and timeless principles of honesty, decency, humbleness, applied knowledge and hard work to be successful. Countless stories abound of the kindness producers show in benevolent ways in helping neighbors in their time of need, a local drive to help a school, 4-H and FFA program, or cutting a neighbor’s field due to a illness or death shows their spirit of community

Much like the way we should thank a soldier or veteran for his or her service, we should do the same for today’s producers. Thank you for all you do to keep America the best place to live and raise a family, regardless of whether they live in a rural or urban setting.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].