During the past 100 years or so, we have inverted the percentage of our population directly engaged in agriculture. In fact, about 94 or so out of every 100 Americans then identified their primary occupation as farm or agriculture related. Today, the number would be closer to 4 percent. To be sure, there are a number of very good reasons for the shift – chief amongst them is the advent of technology allowing a single human to produce a previously unimagined a bounty. The ravenous appetite for capital to run a land-based small business is another. And, changing generational expectations, including an incorrect (I believe) assumption that folks who work with hands, as well as mind, are lesser.
So, if no one is working in food, why aren’t we starving? Happily, those few who remain are smarter, better educated and more productive than ever before. And on Thursday; we honor them with Agriculture Day.Isn’t it as much to remind us of the origin of our own dinners? Yet, these are generous folk. The Legacy Fund of Hamilton County’s Mark Robins says, “Farmers embody many of the attributes we all admire – responsibility, hard work, planning and giving.” He points to a LF initiated program allowing individuals and families, at harvest, to commit a portion of their grain to philanthropy. “Several farmers have created their own charitable accounts with LF. We work closely with them as they give back to the community they believe has given them so much.” Aren’t we getting the better part of this bargain? If they stopped working, how many of us would starve? Whether with corn chips or tasty bacon, isn’t their generosity the ultimate way they manage to feed all of us? If you are full, remember to thank a farmer. And if you feel abundance, call LF.