Friday, March 21, 2014

National Ag Day March 25, 2014

National ag day should make us all stop a moment to think about what agriculture really encompasses. Sure it is the industry that feeds our town, our nation and our world. For some, that sum of agriculture as a whole might just be enough. For me it is not. Sometimes I wish I didn't have the passion that I do for agriculture, if I wasn't passionate about the food, fiber and natural resource industry it wouldn't bother me that it is SO attacked. But I am and I know many of you are too. Here are some of the reasons why.

Agriculture isn't just about cows and sows and maybe some plows although it is all about them at the same time. It is about learning responsibility as a young kid and driving out to cake cows with grandpa in the passanger seat and daddy pouring feed out the back.
Agriculture isn't just policy that says planting is good and growing is great. Agriculture is learning the lay of the land and what will thrive where - be it livestock or crops. Agriculture is watching the weather closely and being able to predict the seasons better than any weatherman and yet everyone listens to the weatherman, maybe just to compare. Oh and you better not peep a word when he's giving his report.
Agriculture is starting from the ground up. For many, years of debt to a banker and hours of investments of turning wrenches, building fences and determining hay denseness lead to land ownership.
Agriculture is sacrifice and pie, just a slice, after branding or shearing or docking. It's big get togethers and many penned letters to the legislature about what is right.
Agriculture is a firm handshake, promises that won't break even if they're not easy to keep. It is moving cows when the snow is flying and checking them all night long because, hey who needs sleep.
Agriculture is long days in the summer sun making hay and pounding posts. It's smiling when a neighbor drops by and the ability to teach when your little child cries as they send their first steer friend off to turn into roast.    
Agriculture is an appreciation for the soil that is the blank canvas God gave us to turn and plant and weed and grow and then to harvest for a profit. To those on the outside the income from agriculture is enormous. Their understanding of the input is like an aggie's understanding of inner city culture.
Agriculture is patriotism. There's no other group who understands so thouroughly the sacrifice of those who have gone before us. Or the history of tyranny and comunism that each of us hope our decendants will never know.
Agriculture is faith. It is faith that the crops will grow and the rain will come when it should. It is faith that the livestock will weigh just the right amount on sale day and that the buyers who were supposed to be there will be. It is the kind of faith that will move mountains.
Agriculture is understanding fights worth fighting and issues that are simply a waste of time.
Agriculture is passion, hard work and a dedication that few understand if they're not directly involved. It is hard to be completely uninvolved in the industry because our world depends on it.
It is dew on a green blade of grass. The hope of red skies in the evening. The appreciation of the changing seasons and the intimate relationship with God's creation. It is agriculture and it is to be celebrated by us all. 

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