Thanksgiving Gratitude for our Farmers
In early June, my husband and I travelled to northern Illinois for his family reunion.
We travelled along the Missouri and Iowa side of the Mississippi River, viewing hundreds of miles of flooded fields than could not be plowed.
Unprecedented rain fell in the Spring. The rivers, springs and creeks could not handle the water that flows to the Mississippi River.
I wondered how these farmers were surviving the season. It's June and the fields have so much water. Plowing is impossible!
As we visited family in northern Illinois that are dairy farmers, we learned the impact of the flooding.
Dairy farmers have extensive acreage to grow pasture grass and corn. An average dairy cow can eat up to 100 pounds per day.
The cost of feeding the cows, without the normal acreage of crops was a major impact.
I've learned the profit margin for dairy cow milk is low for the farmer. It's been that way for too many years.
Why do they do it? It's their way of life and they love it.
Milking twice a day with over 100 head of cattle is a 365 day per year job.
The farmer is a mechanic, veterinarian, agronomist, and so many other specialties rolled into one.
The dairy farmers in our family are originally of German descent and live in the Wisconsin and Illinois area.
They work incredibly hard to produce America's milk and cheese.
To view them in the barns, setting up the milk vacuums, the hygiene required to milk and all of the physical aspects of the work, is incredible.
After milking,they start their tractors and plow the field and care for their land that provides the food for the cattle.
When we go to a farmers market or the grocery aisle and choose our favorite cheese, or purchase gallons of milk, I doubt any of us think about the effort that went into providing our dairy products.
These farmers are the backbone of our country and deserve fair pricing for their products.
As we think about preparing our Thankgsiving meals, we need to give thanks and gratitude to the farmers who provide the food we eat.