By Jennifer Poindexter, Director of Promotion and Education for Missouri Farm Bureau
Late February in Missouri is cold, as in negative-temperatures-in-the-evening cold. The recent cold snap has made calving season especially difficult for farmers and ranchers, many of whom have had to warm calves in their pickups and back porches to keep them alive – and at all hours of the night.
Crop farmers are no less stressed. They are watching input costs, constantly monitoring markets, preparing machinery for the spring and sending up a prayer that this year will be better than the last.
If the past year taught us anything, it is that farmers are vital to our country. When supply chains broke down during the pandemic, consumers found choices at their local grocery store less plentiful. In some instances, meat cases were empty and purchases of some products were limited. The interruption in processing created opportunities for more farmers and consumers to work together to meet one another’s needs.
For the past 11 years, Missouri Farm Bureau has celebrated Celebrate Agriculture – Thank A Farmer Week to pay homage to the farmers and ranchers in our state. This year’s celebration is the week of February 28.
Celebrate Agriculture – Thank A Farmer Week is a time to reflect on the long days, hot summers, cold winters and stressful hours farmers put in to ensure we all have the products that we use every day. Agriculture in Missouri is an $88 billion industry and employs over 400,000 people. Agriculture products range from food, clothing, cosmetics, athletic equipment, automobiles, housewares and more. Farms cover more than 27 million acres in Missouri, well over half of the state.
County Farm Bureaus will celebrate Thank A Farmer Week in a variety of ways. The consistent theme of this important week is gratitude; gratitude for the work farmers and ranchers do and for the sacrifices they make to positively impact all of our lives every day. Please remember to say “Thank You” to the farmers and ranchers in your life during Thank A Farmer Week and every time you enjoy a meal.