7-14-16thankafarmerAfter I graduated from college in May, I never expected to work in agriculture.  When I received the internship, I wondered how working there was going to benefit my career.  I later realized that Christ intended to use this as an opportunity to teach me how to appreciate the hard-working hands that feed me.  Growing up in the United States, we have an expectation to get everything we want.  The sad thing is, there are so many other countries around the world that cannot boast of the same privileges.  I’d like to take this time to share with you why it’s so important to appreciate American Agriculture and reflect on how much we take for granted.

I had the same understanding as anyone else when it comes to food.  You go to the grocery store, and its there, perfectly packaged waiting for you to buy it.  I never went out of my way to research agricultural-related topics or invest in anything past the first page of a Google search. I listened as my coworkers discussed topics like “GMOS,” and it piqued my interest so much that I started to dig deeper and do some real research.  This wasn’t the only major Ag-issue I researched, just one example, and throughout all of the different controversial topics I explored (trying my best to remain as unbiased as I could), I still didn’t understand where the negative hype came from.  All of the facts were presented, most farm stories I came across seemed eager to share their voice, and the general consensus was that, overall, American farmers were just as invested in safe and healthy food as the consumers were.

I’ve learned that mainstream media distorts the truth for most controversial topics-food, religion, politics—you name it.  I’ve learned that the first page of a Google search does not do healthy research investigation justice.  I’ve learned that certain organizations against big agriculture will do whatever they can to gain attention and profit even if it means spreading false information and allowing their audience to construe misconceptions.  I’ve learned that farmers go into the livestock business primarily because they love animals, they don’t have a wicked bone in their body, and would never think about abusing their animals.  More than that, I have better understanding as to why it’s important to treat sick animals with antibiotics and how careful farmers are about preventing traces of the medication to seep into their products.  I’ve learned that agriculture is an expensive industry, so not only do farmers take care of their crops and livestock well—but also it costs them for every minor mistake made which adds to the motivation of careful care.  I’ve learned that GMOs could save lives if people would stop worrying about unproven risk.  I’ve learned that GMOs are just as safe as regular crops, and are more resilient, which is a very necessary for future population needs.  I’ve learned so much in such a small time that I can’t even describe it all.

I’m thankful that God brought me into a line of work I barely knew anything about, even if it’s just a temporary assignment.  It gave me a deeper perspective on how appreciative I should be for living in a country where I have access to practically an endless food supply.  More than that, it gave me a passion for American farmers and love for the work they do in a way I never would have if Christ had led me elsewhere.  Sometimes I think it’s important to stop and smell the roses, especially when the one who plants those roses are the reason its aroma is so sweet.

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Deidra Sonnemaker
Communications Intern
IL Corn

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