Friday, November 19, 2010

Passion, Pride and Food

I wish you could have spent the day with me. Today was the first day of the Kansas Farm Bureau Annual Meeting. Farmers and ranchers gathered for this two day meeting to decide the course of the largest agriculture organization in the state, and something I look forward to each year. It really helps me to remember why I am so proud to be involved in the feeding of the world.

If you could have spent the day you would come away feeling better about the food you eat and the environment we all share. You would hear conversations centered around learning more about farming and ranching practices that will both allow us to produce more food while preserving the world around us. You would realize that we are utilizing the latest tools and techniques, our vocation is truly based in science. The technology utilized in agriculture is truly amazing.

However, I think what would reassure even the greatest critic would be the passion and love for agriculture that you would hear in those conversations. You would hear a love for the land. Not just a passing attraction but a deep felt passion that is at the core of every farmer and rancher that I know. We talk about the land, animals and crops with a reverence reserved for the very essence of who we are.

It is that passion for our vocation that should offer you the greatest insight and comfort about the food you eat and the land we all share. Too often we are portrayed by anti-agriculture groups as greedy with no regard for the world around us when nothing could be farther from the truth. No matter the crops grown, livestock raised, small or large farm or ranch, organic or not we all share a love for plants, animals and land.

The land we live on is the very fabric of our families and has been for generations. The livestock and crops we raise are our lifeblood and command our respect. That is what I wish I could share with you, the passion, love and dedication that fills the hallways of our annual gathering and is shared by all of my fellow farmers and ranchers.

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