The One with Just a Nut
What's your favorite snack? Maybe it's yogurt and granola, or maybe a chocolaty candy bar, or maybe your favorite snack is a handful of farm fresh pecans. Whatever be your favorite pick-me-up, when was the last time you reflected on the many processes involved in getting that snack from the very first step of production to your hand?
With all food, it is easy to forget the starting point. We (myself included) get caught up in our busy lives and sometimes fail to slow down enough to just be grateful for the natural resources, hard work, missed family events and lack of sleep that went into making your beloved snack possible.
Being one of the few folks to be able to say that we take our pecans all the way from the tree to the table, we have the unique perspective (that of only 2% of the American population) of the farmer. The role of the food producer is not as easy as simply watering and watching it grow. Production agriculture is a very capital-intensive, long-term commitment. The farmer is faced with unimaginable obstacles and uncontrollable struggles with every season. Things like the weather and market cycles can quickly wreak havoc on the farmer, leaving them forced to quickly create a new plan of attack in order to simply survive.
For this reason, we as farmers and food producers wear many hats. While being optimists, we must be resilient. While being solutions-finders, we must be conscientious. As stewards, we must be forward-thinking. As conservationists, we are caretakers of the land and all her natural resources. As hard workers, we are diligent, focused and dedicated.
At the end of the day, most importantly, we as farmers are enduring. Not because our job is easy. Not because it is the "cool" thing to do. But because we have to be. We carry the burden of producing fresh and safe food so that all families can not only survive, but thrive.
So next time we pick up our favorite snack, pause. Let's reflect on all the sweat and sacrifice that gave us the opportunity to enjoy a safe and tasty treat. And remember, it's more than "just a nut". It is a culmination of our family's dedication to providing your family with the fuel they need to prosper and conquer.
We thank you for the opportunity you have given us to serve beyond ourselves.