Every day a farmer works hard to produce the food we eat. Nevertheless, many take healthy food for granted and are completely out of touch with what it takes to produce it, yet alone show appreciation for the work of famers.
Like, Dwight D. Eisenhower, former president of the United States, once said in the 1950s: ”Farming looks easy when your plow is a pencil and you are a thousand miles from a corn field.”
Fast forward to today and the people that are complaining about farming the loudest and demanding the most are often the ones furthest away from the reality of the fields.
Thankfully the cities do not only produce moaners, when it comes to farming. There are also brave “city people” trading in their city lives for farming as first generation farmers, even becoming big advocates for farming. Such as the female farmers known as Red Shepherdess, Yorkshire Shepherdess and Farm Babe to name a few. They have some amazing stories to share about farming and do a great job of letting people in on their stories on social media.
Some even create a whole film on it, such as Molly and John Chester in California with “The biggest little farm”, which was released in cinemas this year. Jeremy Clarkson, townie and famous for his car series, bought a farm with no knowledge in agriculture and is about to launch a series on his experience of running a farm on Amazon Prime Video.
However, there are also many multi generation farmers that have grown up on a farm, who are involved in bridging the gap between towns and countryside on social media. Some also winning awards for their initiatives, such as Simone Kaine and Ben Hood from South Australia. Their educational project “George the Farmer” aims to give both rural and city-based children a better understanding and connection to where their food comes from.
None of them beats around the bush, while they agree that farming can be a very rewarding and meaningful way of life, they also admit it is anything but easy. As Jeremy Clarkson discovers: “Of course to be a farmer you have to be an agronomist, a businessman, a politician, an accountant and a mechanic.”
To be a successful farmer you need to be smart: It is therefore not surprising that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Census of Agriculture. Sixty-nine percent of the surveyed young farmers had college degrees — significantly higher than the general population.
Livestock farming today is expected to produce more food than ever before, at high welfare standards, from fewer resources and with the smallest possible impact on our environment. Healthy animals not only produce healthy food, they are also more efficient, reducing both cost of production and environmental impact. So, it is safe to say that behind every healthy animal is a strong farmer dedicated to produce healthy food. They deserve our support and admiration, after all they are the cornerstone to our food security and biggest contributors to our landscape.
And let us not forget, sustainable agriculture not only means the responsible use of the world’s finite resources and social acceptability, it also encompasses economic viability for the continuation of a thriving farming industry.
Today is national farmers day. Thank a farmer today and every day for healthy food on the table.