Jennifer is a self proclaimed country girl born and raised in Northern California. After joining social media, Jenny met a farmer from North Dakota. She followed her heart all the way to the rural prairies of ND where she is now married to that farmer. Besides spending time with her farmer, Jenny can be found with a camera in hand capturing the world around her, loves the challenges of bringing culture to the North Dakota prairie through a variety of culinary creations, and using her interior design degree to flip their bachelor pad into a home. All of this and more can be found on her photography blog: jldphotographblog.com.
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Well it’s that time of year again when we express thanks and share things we are grateful for in our lives.. On my personal blog I am sharing my thirty days of thanks for things in my life. I figured on here I’d share some thanks farmer style… Here are 10 things in agriculture we are thankful for. In no particular order.
10. We Are Part of a Unique Group. It is widely known and apparent that nowadays the majority of people are far removed from the farm. I know many of you have heard the statistic that farmers and ranchers make up less than 2% of our entire population. We should embrace and celebrate the fact that we really are part of a unique group.
9. We Are Doing What We Love. I read a study not so long ago that only 30 percent of Americans feel engaged or inspired at their jobs. The vast majority of farmers farm because they love it. There is something about it that inspires them to continue on year after year. And for those of us in agriculture, it’s no secret that in order to make it in this lifestyle, you’ve got to love it. Nobody ever said it was easy, but it can be rewarding. So many others out there simply pick up a job just to get by, while we are out there putting our blood, sweat, and tears into something we love.
8. Technological Advances. Farming has come so far in such a small amount of time. I look at the technologies available to my husband’s grandfather versus the technologies available to him. The age of the computer forever changed farming. Now with precision planting software and even down to climate controlled cabs in machinery, technology has forever changed the way we farm. Some may think of technology as a curse, but if you look back to the way things you used to be done, that technology doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
7. Social Media. Along with advances in technology, social media has come about. Social media has allowed farmers and ranchers to reach well beyond their own communities and social circles. Social media gives those of us in agriculture an opportunity to make connections with people far removed from Ag and to build relationships with people who are in Ag. Social media allows farmers and ranchers to connect from across the globe. It also allows for people far removed from Ag to have a trusted source in farmers and ranchers at their fingertips.
6. Biotechnology. The use of biotechnology in seeds has brought us another tool in our toolbox to utilize. The advent of biotechnology has resulted in crops better able to withstand environmental challenges such as drought, disease, and insects. It has allowed more food to be grown in more places using fewer natural resources and has also increased the availability of crops to farmers in developing countries. Biotechnology is by no means a silver bullet or answer to all of our problems, but it has proven to be an effective tool in our lineup of choices in Agriculture.
5. No Till or Minimum Till Systems. No till or minimum till has allowed us, at least here in North Dakota, to effectively farm land that hadn't been farmed previously. No till systems has allowed for us to conserve more soil moisture as well as provides excellent erosion control. No till also reduces our fuel and labor costs as well as improves our soil structure.
4. Diversity/Choices. If there is one thing I love the most about agriculture it is the diversity! There is SO much diversity all the way from crops grown down to production methods. If you go across the country, you will probably not find any two farmers who farm exactly the same. As Miranda Lambert says, “it takes all kinds of kinds” and to me, that is beautiful. I wrote a post about Farmer Choices because so often consumers believe that the farmer doesn’t have any. It is because of that diversity in agriculture and farmer choice that allows for diversity and choices to the consumer.
3. Consumers Buy Our Products. Whether you are or aren’t selling direct to consumers, there is still an end use for the products you are farming or ranching. There is this idea tied to farming and ranching in that we should be receiving thanks for what we do. I see lots of “thank a farmer” campaigns. And yes, we should. But at the same time, we should really be thanking consumers. Thanking them for putting trust in us and for purchasing the products they do. Because in reality, without consumers… without that demand for our products, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.
2. The People in the Industry. It's true that often times the general public romanticizes the role of the farmer. And for good reason, today, farmers and ranchers embody some of the traits we all strive for in life. Whether it be hard working, helping a neighbor in need, or providing for their communities. It really is true farmers and ranchers make up a group of "good people" as we like to call it here in the country.
1. We Work in a Beautiful Workplace. I follow a great deal of farmers on social media and let me tell you.. the photos they all post of nature and being out in their fields are simply amazing. I think sometimes when you are around something for long enough, you stop realizing the beauty around you. Farmers and ranchers get to work in some of the most remote areas of this country, they get to witness scenes in nature that most people never do, they get to watch the sunset from wide open spaces every evening. Next time the sun begins to sink down on the horizon, take a minute and enjoy it.
I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope it is full of family, food, and love… or whatever else suits your fancy!