Thank a farmer for providing your breakfast, lunch and dinner today.
Have you heard of Instagram? It’s one of the hot new social media sites that is taking the Internet by storm. Instagram is a free, fast and fun way to share your photos with friends and family. Simply snap a picture, choose a filter and post. From Instagram, these photos can be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr as well. Farmers and ranchers are using Instagram to share their view from the pasture, in the tractor or at the dinner table, and it’s becoming a favorite among agriculture advocates to share their food production story with just the click of a button.
I was scrolling through Instagram photos the other day when I saw a post by Katie Noll. It included a quote by Brenda Schoepp that read, “My grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher, but every day, three times a day, you need a farmer.”
Schoepp is a motivational speaker whose heart is in agriculture. Check out her website here.
This quote got me thinking about the role farmers and ranchers play in the daily lives of the average American citizen. Each morning before heading to work, you probably fry up eggs and bacon, or pour a glass of orange juice to go with your breakfast cereal. Needing a break from the daily office grind, you head out to your favorite sandwich shop for a roast beef and swiss and potato chips at lunch. When you arrive home that evening, you might simmer a pot of chili for supper to feed your family. Perhaps you end the night with a bowl of ice cream or popcorn.
Having a variety of wholesome, readily available, safe and affordable food is something we take for granted here in the U.S. According to the Super Market Guru, in 1933, Americans spent 21.9% of their income on food at home. Today, USDA says Americans spend just 5.7% on food eaten at home. Overall, Americans spend less than 10% of their disposable income on food.
When eating American-grown meat and produce, there are a few guarantees we have that other countries don’t necessarily enjoy. Our food is held to a high standard of safety, as regulated by USDA, and we can feel confident that the food we put on the dinner table is held to those safety standards.
With fewer than 2% of Americans directly involved in production agriculture today, I’m amazed by the abundance of food available to us. Walk down the grocery store aisle and truly notice the variety and choice of brands, production methods and options we have in America. With three square meals a day, plus a few snacks, we need to thank farmers for the variety of choices available to us each time we sit down to eat.
So, the next time you sit down to enjoy a meal with your family, remember to thank a farmer. My challenge to you today is to share this blog post with your friends and neighbors on Facebook and Twitter!