Did you realize there are 7 billion mouths to feed? That is not a small number. Roughly 319 million of those mouths are residing in the US and only 2% of our population produces the agricultural necessities. No matter where you stand on the organic/conventional or GMO/nonGMO issues that fact is amazing. 2% of our country's population puts their heart and soul, blood, sweat, and tears into making sure we can put something on your table 3 times a day. In case you haven't noticed, I'm proud to be included in that 2%!!!
365 days a year. There is not a single day that goes by that our 150 (give or take) cows don't enter the milk barn twice a day at 3am and 3pm. Not a day goes by that the feed isn't mixed and the cows, heifers, calves, bulls, and steers aren't fed. The dry cows (pregnant ladies) are checked on several times a day, and the ones in heat....well if the bull isn't in with them, they get AI (artificial insemination) bred. And there is nothing more amusing than the Milkmaids telling people about their daddy "breeding cows." That gets a few priceless looks and very confused girls. Doesn't everybody's daddy breed cows? The point is that every head is cared for every day.
That's not even close to everything going on over here, but I won't go on and on. This would never end. Does the Milkman take vacations? Yes. But he never stops, day or night, thinking about our farm. (And if he isn't here someone qualified is.) He gawks at anything for sale on the side of the road (we might NEED it or he's ALWAYS wanted one), he uses Craigslist and Dial-a-Trade like an office uses a stapler, he talks in his sleep (usually telling me how to feed/fix/do something), and when he isn't here he talks to the hired guys more than he does me. But I don't mind. I feel secure and proud knowing that the Milkman cares enough about the land and the animals and his family to spend 24/7/365 working physically and mentally to provide for us....and for you too. I hope you had milk with those pop tarts this morning!
National Ag day celebrates the people that take everything God has given them and put their hearts and souls into doing what they love so that we can do what we love in 'Merica...you know...eat. We really like eating. I plan my day around what to eat, where to eat, and who to eat with. Don't lie...so do you.
I can tell all kinds of good stories about dairy farming but I won't today. (Remind me to tell the one about how the oldest Milkmaid saw the bull trying to "dance" with daddy...it's a good one.) But we are just a spoke on the wheel of agriculture that makes the world go 'round. We have to have the beef, poultry, hog, wheat, rice, soybean, (and all the other crops), and so many more areas of ag to take care of everyone. Don't be afraid to seek out a farmer and ask questions. Or ask me, I know a few farming experts. We love talking about what we do. It is a job we don't go home from, a job that we don't even consider a job because it is as natural as breathing. It is a job that we can't afford to lose....after all it is 365 sunrises and 7 billion mouths to feed. Who else is gonna do it?
Don't forget to thank a farmer! Happy National Ag Day!!