Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Have you thanked a farmer lately?

The first 18 years of my life have been spent on our cattle ranch and crop farm. My Dad’s family took the management role of the cattle and my Uncle and his son focus primarily on the crops- that’s how it has been for as long as I can remember. That’s not to say that my cousin won’t help vaccinate cattle or my sisters and I haven’t donated countless hours to baling and harrowing. It’s a family business.

Photo credit
 Since I’ve started working with agricultural insurance, I’ve been dealing a lot with the farming side. It’s opened my eyes to how hard-working and diligent farmers like my Uncle have to be to get the best crop possible each year. The paperwork is extensive to ensure the farmer will be covered if any natural cause decreases the quality or yield of their crop. Farmers have to be smart about what they insure, just like when you choose what level of car insurance you want. You decide whether or not to get collision insurance on your car for a higher premium, just as a farmer has to decide if hail coverage would be worth the price.

Here's what I've come to realize in the last few weeks- farmers deserve a whole lot more credit than they're getting. And this is coming from someone who has lived on a farm her entire life without completely grasping this. Of course farming isn't glorified; it's a dirty, labour-intensive, low-return type of career. There's a reason less than 2% of the Canadian population has stepped up and chosen farming as their life's work. It takes  certain type of person to work 16 hour days, operate 10 different kinds of macinery on a regular basis, and have the knowledge and skill to run a financially sound business and make the best decisions for it.

So here's my challenge to you. Next time you see your neighbor, friend, family member, or even parent who is a farmer- say thank you. Thanks for feeding the world and dedicating each day of your life to this cause. Believe me, they don't hear it nearly enough.

I'm a big fan of this bumper sticker, found here

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