Tomorrow, families around the country will gather to enjoy good food and each other's company and to give thanks. As you reflect this year on the blessings you have received, you may be missing one link in the chain.
My family has a tradition of everyone saying one thing we are thankful for, and someone always mentions the people who prepare our Thanksgiving meal, but we, like many families, miss thanking the farmers who grew the food for our Thanksgiving meal.
Anyone who has a Thanksgiving meal, with turkey, stuffing, casseroles, sides, pies and all, owes a huge debt to the farmers who grow and raise that food. Farmers supply our tables with safe, reliable and inexpensive food so we can enjoy our meals every day and on holidays.
Thanksgiving morning, when you and your family may watch the Macy's parade, will see many farmers across the country getting up before sunrise to feed their animals or milk their cows. For most farmers the harvest is over, but the long business of planning for next year's crop has already begun.
The men and women who grow and raise your food work long hours, with slim profit margins, lots of risk, and lots of hard labor. Farmers are a dwindling breed, but their dedication to their professions allows the rest of us to do something besides spending all our time raising our food. Less than 2 percent of Americans are in farming, but they provide enough food for the rest of us.
The abundance of food most Americans experience at Thanksgiving is a debt we all owe farmers. When your family thanks the hands that the prepared the food this year, remember to also thank the hands that grew it.