Celebrating our ag and hort heroes

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October 12 is National Farmers Day every year, and every year, one day doesn’t seem like enough time to thank them for all that they do.

Out of curiosity, I searched “What does a farmer do?” Oddly enough, one of the first links that popped up came from Indeed – that’s right, the job search site. They have an entire page dedicated to breaking down the profession. Check out “What’s It Like To Work as a Farmer? Career Duties, Benefits and Steps.”

I appreciate that benefits are included in this, because so much of what farmers do is such hard work. Sometimes it may be difficult to shift their gaze to what they get out of it. When things are going well, the monetary rewards are nice, but that’s not why people farm.

The article above says working as a farmer has many potential benefits, including the ability to work outside, increased physical activity, improved well-being, high job satisfaction and more independence.

Having grown up dairy farm-adjacent (my dad worked on his uncle’s dairy) and having our own homestead herd of beeves, I understand where my current job satisfaction comes from. Being an ag journalist isn’t the same as being an agriculturalist, but I also have the opportunity to enjoy most of those benefits.

Farmers have long been the backbone of civilization, and as methods are refined and technology advances, fewer and fewer of them are needed. However, these days more and more people are actively choosing to farm, or garden, or participate more actively in their ag communities, even if that means just being a paying customer in a CSA.

There’s something deep inside humans that still understands how essential raising healthy animals and growing good crops is. That’s why there are beehives on tops of buildings in big cities. That’s why agritourism is the booming market it is.

If you farm, thank you, sincerely. And if you eat food – which I’m pretty sure most of our readers do – thank a farmer.

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