Agriculture has always been at the heart of Thanksgiving and this year should be no different. However, the circumstances are very much different than the first Thanksgiving. We are so fortunate and so blessed to live in a nation so blessed with an abundance of food and fiber.
The first Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving because of the hardship and hunger they had survived during the first year. Few of us know true hunger and that is an incredible blessing. We live in a nation of grocery stores with full shelves and a restaurant around every corner. Food is such a common place that we have TV channels dedicated to food.
Think about it, we are so well-fed that we can chose to buy food that is organic or meat that is grass fed or free range. In developing countries those are not choices but realities. It is our modern technology that allows other farmers and ranchers to produce the sheer quantity of food needed to fill those store shelves and menus. The secret to our country's success is the security of knowing we will have enough food and that it will be affordable.
Our farmers and ranchers are always meeting the challenge of producing enough food to feed a growing population. I am so thankful that I have a choice of safe, nutritious food to select from for my Thanksgiving meal. I do not think that we fully comprehend or appreciate the blessing we enjoy in this great nation. We have an agricultural system capable of producing the food we need without us ever having to worry about our next meal.
So as many of us sit down to a great meal with so much food we need to think of the hardships those who celebrated the first Thanksgiving went through. We need to be thankful of the great fabric of agriculture that covers this nation. We need to be thankful for the technology that allows our farmers and ranchers to produce more food on fewer acres. Farmers and ranchers are truly the foundation of all that we have to be thankful for.