Everyone is involved with agriculture
By Matt Aultman
“If you ate today, thank a farmer,” many have seen these bumper stickers on vehicles throughout the country, but if you think about this statement, it involves more than a farmer.
What got me thinking about this is when I recently went to the American Farm Bureau Annual meeting in Nashville, and it opened up my mind to how diverse agriculture is. We have so many different shapes and sizes of those involved and how they all are intertwined. I met many different people from someone who was a food processor to someone who raises a cut-your-own tulip market. I also attended a session on the how to interact with those not actively involved with production agriculture and it opened my eyes to a different point of view. This gave me a great idea; how many occupations are out there that are agriculture related? It may surprise you, because it did me!
So here is a partial list of occupations that I have compiled that are a part of agriculture: agronomists; animal science; bakers; barley producers; beekeepers; biologists; brewers/distillery producers; cattle, swine, poultry, sheep, goat, rabbit, deer, elk, buffalo and any other one I missed; producers (both for meat production and breeding stock supplier); clothing manufacturers; corn syrup production; corn, soybean and wheat production; cotton producers; dairy farmer; drainage technicians; educators; engineers; equipment dealers; ethanol production; feed manufacturers; fertilizer and herbicide suppliers; flower, nursery stock and greenhouse production; food manufacturer; forestry management; gardener; genetic scientists; grain millers; grocery; hay/forage producer; herb production; landscapers; lumber; machinists/millwrights; maple syrup production; mechanical engineers; milo producers; nutritionists; orchard/fruit production; organic farm product producer; peanuts producers; petroleum companies; rice producer; seafood producers; sod producers; soybean oil production; spelt’s producers; tobacco producers; tree nut producers; vegetable/produce production; veterinarians; water quality management; wildlife management; lawyers, accountants and legislators (yes, they are involved with agriculture to either defend, follow or make the rules for those involved with agriculture), and last, but not least anyone who cooks and eats.
I know this is a surprising list and I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but look at it see if you can find one or more of these that you are a part of. This list is just to show how diverse agriculture is and how many people are involved in agriculture that touches our lives on a daily basis.
I suggest that we need to change the slogan from the “If you ate today, thank a farmer” to “If you ate today, thank your neighbor.” We are all involved in this!”
Matt Aultman is the Chairman of the Darke Co. Chamber Ag Committee and Chairman-elect of the Darke Co. Farm Bureau. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for comments.