By Dr. David Bridges
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
American farmer, it is your time to shine. Yes, despite all the gloom and doom that surrounds us, it is a time when the American farmer can shine. Maybe I should say, it’s a time that the public sees your shine, because your light shines bright all the time.
The public may need a little help if they are to see the shine through the clouds, but during this time when consumer items like masks, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer are short, Americans should be reminded that they have the most abundant, safest, and cheapest food supply in the world – thanks to the American farmer.
Maybe you’ve heard this before, but I heard my good friend Tom McCall say, “you need five things to live – air, water, food, fiber, and shelter. God gives us two of these, air and water, and three come from the farmer.”
Wow, just think, if Americans hear that, understand it, and appear grateful for it, they might be willing to pay a bit more for the safety and security that they gain from what you do. Cheap is usually not better!
No doubt times are tough. The public is rightfully concerned about COVID19. In fact, much of America is consumed with fear. Uncertainty and unknowns are the roots of fear. Maybe the public could learn a few things from farmers. As I’ve been about rural Georgia, farmers are at work getting the 2020 crop in place. They are not hesitating. Besides, being alone in the tractor cab on the back forty is a great form of social distancing.
Despite the hurricanes, tornadoes, sharply rising costs of production, depressed commodity prices, and trade issues, farmers do what they always do. They spend their money, plant their seed, and pray for the best.
Think about it, they really don’t control their destiny, just like you don’t necessarily control yours here on Earth. Farmers can’t control the weather, the market, and they fight off the pests every year, but they act with faith, hope, and optimism.
We can’t all be farmers, but we should thank farmers for what they do. And, maybe we could learn something about determination, self-reliance, and faith from farmers. Just a thought! Farmers risk it all every year so that we can have abundant, safe, and cheap food, clothing, and shelter.
My mom said that when she was a small girl her grandfather made her promise she wouldn’t grow up and marry a drinker or a gambler. She said she got it half right. She didn’t marry a drinker, but she did marry a farmer, and I am glad she did.