January, in so many ways, is a month of fresh starts and new beginnings. Most of us have made our resolutions: to lose weight, to exercise, to spend more time with family, etc. Many of us will put these well-intentioned resolutions to the side before the month is over. But what if you had a resolution that required a commitment of only one week? Would you be able to keep it? What kind of change could a one-week resolution have on your life or your perspective of the world?
The answer is quite a bit.
Here is the resolution I am asking you to make: For one week stop to consider the people who make your meals possible. Don’t focus on the factories or grocery stores, don’t focus on whether the food you eat is healthy or not. Think beyond these things to the farmers, the men and women who grew the wheat in your morning muffin, the corn in your tortilla chips, the beef in your burger. You don’t need to spend time debating the method of farming – conventional or organic, large or small scale, you just need to take time to picture the people.
If every one of us took just a moment to stop and wonder about who raised the food we eat, what kind of impact would that have? Regardless if your dinner consists of chicken nuggets and French fries or baked chicken and mashed potatoes – proud farming families cared for and raised the food you are eating.
When you begin to focus on the people that make your meals possible your perspective changes a little. Take one moment before a meal to imagine the faces, the hands, the hearts of the nation’s farmers. When you do so, you begin to connect to the food they worked hard to raise and harvest, closer to the animals they care for and the land they tend.
As a member of a proud farm family, I’d like to ask you to make this one-week resolution. My family raises cows for milking and for beef, my brother combines local fields full of wheat, oats and corn, my friends tend to salad greens, butternut squash, and other veggies grown for both processing and local markets. Farm families come in different forms and sizes but the passion for the work we do is the same, the pride and care we take in providing safe, delicious food is the same as well.
Happy New Year from my farm family to yours.