“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field,” President Dwight Eisenhower said.
He was speaking about how, all too often, those who live in urban areas often take things like farming and food sources for granted. That’s why in 1957, he proclaimed the first National Farm City Week.
“Keep Alabama Growing” is the theme for this year’s Farm City Week. Running from Nov. 22-28, the week serves as a set-apart time to acknowledge local farmers and agriculture organizations and examine the relationship between rural farms and urban consumers.
Thanks to Eddie Wheeler and the Marshall County Extension, a group of Marshall County students have already gotten to tour Tucker Milling, LLC, in Guntersville and Pea Ridge Cattle farm in Crossville to learn about how a farm works.
“It’s amazing when you think about what’s going on just in [Marshall County] alone,” Emily Hayles, founder of the agriculture marketing firm Southern Legacy Marketing & Design in Holly Pond, said at a Farm City Week event. “It’s just unreal the impact that agriculture has on this county, on this state and on the nation.”
With perpetually stocked store shelves and on-demand fast food, it’s easy to forget that food was once a live plant or animal growing on a farm being raised by a man or woman working every day. It’s hard to comprehend all the processes occurring between farm and consumer, but feeding more than 300 million people is no small feat.
Think of all the different ingredients in one hamburger and where they come from: wheat for the buns was grown on a farm; lettuce, tomato and onions were grown on a farm; ketchup and mustard were made from plants grown on a farm; the cheese was made from a cow on a farm, as was the hamburger patty itself.
It’s important to recognize how and where food is made so that farmers can continue to thrive and grow their business and to ensure a sustainable food source for future generations.
The Reporter encourages its readers to learn about where their food comes from and to thank a farmer next time they meet one.
Our View On the Issue is an opinion of The Reporter’s editorial board that includes Publisher Kim Patterson and Managing Editor Taylor Beck.