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A Salute to Food, Farming, and Freedom

With June quickly coming to an end, we ring in the month of July by celebrating our country’s independence, and remembering all who took part in protecting that freedom.  I think it is safe to say that in many small towns Independence Day is celebrated with barbeque and cookout hopping, a small town festivity, and a firework show as the grand finale.  If you’re anything like my family we plan our weekend around food, which cookouts to go to, and carefully planning out which food stands we have yet to hit at our local liberty days festival.  Maybe it’s just us, but I like to think we fully heartedly support the food and agriculture industry every Independence Day weekend.

            Often times we get caught up in all the commotion and activities, that we forget why were celebrating, and forget how this significant day affects us in our daily lives.  The results of our Independence we received on July 4, 1776 will always play a large role in the agriculture industry, even if we don’t remember it everyday.  Now I’m talking a large effect, and not just the classic saying farmers use each year “Knee high by the 4th of July.”  This day represents importance for farmers, agriculturalist, and consumers.

            To the farmers it allows us to operate and grow our farms with the values, and principles we individually hold.  It allows us to continue the 6th generation farms passed down through hard work and rough times.  It allows us to start from scratch with nothing but an idea and notes scribbled on an old napkin from a local diner.  This weekend we choose to remember our freedom of choice, our decision to have an all green farm, or to fill our barns with red (even if green is the obvious choice.)  As an agriculture industry we remember the freedoms we have in our industry, and everyday we work to honor this freedom to provide food on the dinner table, including on this Independence Day weekend.

            To the consumers, this weekend also represents the freedom of choice.  With the agriculture industry growing it provides us with the choice of how we want our food raised.  We remember not the negatives of popular debates but we embrace our opportunity to choose how our food reaches our plates.  As consumers we have a voice, a voice that can help the agriculture industry grow and succeed, for this we can salute our freedom. 

            This holiday allows us to celebrate our freedom, our values, our principles, our right of choice, and our right to a voice.  Remember to slow down this weekend and remember how our food is put on our plates, how we are able to pick the organically raised corn for dinner, how we were provided with the options to get our corn knee high. Most importantly remember how we received our freedom, and those who have paid the ultimate price to defend this freedom.  This weekend remember to give a salute to both farming and to our freedom.