The end of February in Missouri is cold, as is cold in the evening with negative temperatures. The recent cold snap has made the calving season particularly difficult for farmers and ranchers, many of whom have had to warm calves in their pickups and porches to keep them alive – anytime of the night.
Farmers are no less stressed. They watch input costs, keep watching the markets, preparing machines for spring, and pray that this year will be better than the last.
If the past year has taught us anything, it is that farmers are vital to our land. When supply chains collapsed during the pandemic, consumers found less choice in their local grocery store. In some cases the meat boxes were empty and purchases of some products were limited. The interruption in processing opened up opportunities for more farmers and consumers to work together to meet each other’s needs.
For the past 11 years, the Missouri Farm Bureau has celebrated the Celebration of Agriculture – Thanks A Farmer Week to pay tribute to the farmers and ranchers in our state. This year’s celebration is the week of February 28th.
Celebrate Farming – Thanks A Farmer Week is a time to ponder the long days, hot summers, cold winters, and stressful hours farmers invest to make sure we all have the products we use every day. Agriculture in Missouri is a $ 88 billion industry and employs more than 400,000 people. Agricultural products range from food, clothing, cosmetics, sports equipment, automobiles, housewares, and more. Farms cover more than 27 million acres in Missouri, well over half the state.
The County Farm Bureaus will celebrate Thanks A Farmer Week in a number of ways. The ongoing theme of this important week is gratitude: gratitude for the work of farmers and ranchers and for the sacrifices they make to make a positive impact on all of our lives every day. Please remember to say “Thank you” to the farmers and ranchers in your life during Thanks A Farmer Week and every time you enjoy a meal.
Jennifer Poindexter, of Montgomery City, is the director of advertising and education for the Missouri Farm Bureau, the state’s largest agricultural organization.