Giving thanks to farmers and ranchers

In a few short days we will all sit down and celebrate Thanksgiving. The holiday that is meant for us to reflect and decide what it is for which we are thankful. We have a lot to be thankful for in this great nation, not the least of which is our farms and ranches. This is so appropriate because Thanksgiving is associated with food.

My guess is most of us will have the traditional feast of turkey and all the fixings, right down to the pumpkin pie. No matter what you include for your Thanksgiving dinner, without a doubt it will be one of biggest feasts of the year. All of this great food is brought to you by a fellow farmer or rancher, even the yams.

While I do not know any yam farmers and, to be honest, I am not even sure what a yam is. I do know the people who grow them are good. Those of us involved in agriculture are part of the fabric that is the foundation of this great nation. At the core of every great society is a robust, self-sufficient food supply.

We are so blessed in the United States to have the safe, abundant, wholesome food supply within easy reach. Most of us have never really faced empty shelves. Sure, there are times like right before a predicted snowstorm the shelves may be a little low. But very few of us have ever faced a real shortage of food. We got a little glimpse of this during the pandemic, but any deficits were short lived.

We are also fortunate to spend a relatively small portion of our earnings on food. We are used to having the shelves full and the prices at a reasonable level and that is all because of the hard work we put in as farmers and ranchers. The price of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner has undoubtedly gone up because of inflation. But it is still a feast that comes at an amazing bargain, and one we do not take enough credit for.

This coming week is when we, as farmers and ranchers, should be sticking our chests out with pride and letting the world know about the remarkable things we do to put food on tables around the world. This is true every day but especially the day when we are to give thanks, and our way of giving thanks is centered around a great meal. See what I mean about food being at the center of our society?

We have a lot to be thankful for in this great nation, but at the top of that list is our food supply. It is OK to take pride in the fact that all of us do our part to provide the safe, abundant, wholesome food we all need. That is also something to be thankful for, and I wish you all the happiest of Thanksgivings.

—Glenn Brunkow is a Pottawatomie County, Kansas, farmer and rancher.