Thanks, Farmers!

posted in: Food | 0

Today is Thanksgiving, and I imagine that as everyone in the United States is preparing their turkeys, stuffing, pumpkin pies, baklava (whatever your fancy!), you are thinking about who to thank before you dive in. Mothers, fathers, friends and family, but how about the farmers who grew your veggies and raised the bird? I know some people out there take the time to draw attention to the source of their food for special meals, and it looks like even our President, Barack Obama, would like citizens to take a moment to reflect on their food this week. He has declared Thanksgiving week National Farm-City Week!

A PROCLAMATION

Our Nation’s farm and ranch families supply many of the basic necessities of our daily life. They manage a large portion of our country’s fertile land base, and they are caretakers of our valuable natural resources and diverse ecosystems. Their connections with urban and suburban communities are critical to our economy and to the nourishment of our people. During National Farm-City Week, we express gratitude for the contributions of our Nation’s farmers and ranchers, and we rededicate ourselves to providing all Americans with access to healthy food, and thus, a healthy future.

Pioneered by Native Americans, agriculture was our Nation’s first industry. For agriculture to thrive in the 21st century, we must continue to cultivate the relationships between farmers and rural businesses and their partners and customers in cities and towns. American farmers and ranchers are proud to grow the food, feed, fuel, and fiber that enhance our national security and prosperity, and remain steadfast stewards of the land they love. We must ensure that farming is maintained as an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable way of life for future generations.

This Thanksgiving season, we celebrate farms of every size that produce fruits, vegetables, dairy, and livestock indispensable to the health of our families. We also recognize the vital ties between our urban and suburban communities and their local farmers through regional food systems, farmers markets, and community gardens. During National Farm-City Week, we celebrate the bounty of America, and we honor the commitment of those who grow, harvest, and deliver agricultural goods to feed our country and grow our economy.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week ending on Thanksgiving Day of each year as National Farm-City Week. I call on Americans as they gather with their families and friends to reflect on the accomplishments of all who dedicate their lives to promoting our [N]ation’s agricultural abundance and environmental stewardship.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

cornmobileSounds like a great idea! The Monsanto company also made a page where people can post short messages to show their gratitude to farmers. I added my thanks, go ahead and pile on! There’s also a “Twibbon” where you can show your support for farmers in your twitter account. I’m totally there in honor of Thanksgiving this week. It sure beats buying a magnet for my Cornmobile!

But what would the farmers grow if it weren’t for plant breeders who continue to advance the best genetics of our crops forward into the seeds that they plant? And what about those intrepid genetic engineers that have helped reduce insecticide sprays, shield produce from viruses, and more? Whether working in the field or in the lab, these are essential, but often thankless jobs.

Thank a farmer, and thank a plant geneticist, too!

And a happy Thanksgiving to you all, from the center of my cobb!

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Frank N. Foode™ is your friendly neighborhood genetically modified organism. Email him at franknfoode(AT)biofortified[DOT]org.
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