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Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. No gifts to buy or parades to attend, just spend time with family. Share what you are thankful for and appreciate the blessings in your life. I hope everyone found time to slow down and appreciate their family instead of rushing out to shop for black Friday deals or got stuck in the kitchen for hours and hours.

One key person I hope you all were extra thankful for, FARMERS. Why? Because they are the reason you have everything on your table. Well, unless you hunted the turkey yourself,(though I argue that turkey probably got nice and plump off the local corn and soybean fields) then you can thank the hunter in your family.

Farmers get a lot of flack these days for their management decisions. Marketing companies tell consumers that they need to choose “GMO Free”, “Gluten Free”, “Organic”, “Free Range”, “All Natural”, and “sustainably raised”. Marketers have decided this, not farmers, or dietitians, or medical professionals. Most of these monikers are made up by food companies. Did you know there is no measurement for “sustainably raise” or “all natural”. The companies that make the food and put together the label get to decide the rules that make their food deserve that label.

Organic is an actual USDA regulated and inspected way of raising animals and plants. There is a set of rules that restrict what kinds of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers that can be used. This is a reference to management practices by the farmer, not on how healthy the food is. Just because something has the word “organic” on the label doesn’t mean it has less calories or more fiber than the version that doesn’t.

I have gotten off track. The United States has the most abundant food system in the world. We have so many options that we are overwhelming consumers. But at the core of these choices are the same group of people, the 1%. Not the 1% you usually hear about, but the 1% of the population that grows the food you eat. Farmers do such an amazing job of feeding people with modern agriculture that they have dwindled to 1-2% of the population.

I touch on sustainability a lot in this blog, explaining how LaBudde helps farms and food companies utilize products to make the whole system more sustainable for the future. Farmers have been doing things like this for generations. In many cases, putting themselves out of work because they have produced such an abundance of products, that prices fall and they can’t afford to farm any longer. Long days and hard work are the cornerstone of this group. Many of them not being able to spend more than and hour or two with their families on Thanksgiving because the animals still must be fed and tended to.

So on this day of Thanks, don’t forget the folks that feed you, The FARMERS. The pumpkin pie and whipped cream wouldn’t be the same without them!!!