Today is National Ag Day, but as people around the nation celebrate a day to acknowledge and recognize agriculture, I want to take some time today simply to share what Agriculture means to me. I’ve gotten the pleasure to share all about why I am Agriculture Proud before, but I want to put the pen to paper here.
Agriculture is so much more than something just for those of us involved in it to be proud of at the end of the day. And Agriculture is certainly more than just appreciating beautiful landscape many of us drive past every single day.
Agriculture is a living, breathing community of people across the nation who simply love what they do for a living, whether it be in a tractor or even in an office. As with many industries, there is something about agriculture that settles deep down in your soul and even if you leave it, you will forever be impacted by your time involved in it.
When I joined social media four years ago, I had no idea the impact that Agriculture would have on my life. From bringing me my future husband to providing me with the stories to share here on this blog, I have agriculture to thank for making and molding into this person you know today, the Prairie Californian. And today I hold little bits of each deep in my heart.
Some of my earliest memories revolve around time spent in almond orchards. There is something truly magical about breathing in a blooming field of almond blossoms. And if you stand really still, you can hear the bees hard at work pollinating.
Just to the south of where I grew up, the landscape changes. Suddenly the orchards disappear and there’s rice fields as far as the eye can see. A direct line for the Pacific Flyway, I spent many hours in those rice fields as ducks and geese flocked to their favorite watering holes.
But I wasn’t involved in either of these industries, what brought me ties to these people and their land is the butcher shop.
Growing up in the butcher shop, the farmers and ranchers in our area became who I knew and who I interacted with. I knew their families, their histories, and the legacies they have left on the land all around me. My father has now gone through several generations of customers as traditions like raising animals for the county fair are passed down onto the next generation.
I spent many days with Dad at work on the mobile, on farm slaughter truck before I was in school. I spent time wandering around these farms and ranches and sometimes even played with their kids while Dad got his job done.
To be honest with you, I don’t think I really appreciated the weight of my experiences growing up where I did in California. It took moving halfway across the country before I could really begin to understand how deep agriculture runs and how important it is to those involved in it.
These rural prairies of North Dakota and finding love in a farmer have brought me so much perspective. My time here has truly allowed Agriculture to form deep roots in my heart. It has ignited a passion in my heart for telling the many stories about an industry that is important to all of us as we put food on our tables every single day.
I’ve been able to witness the day to day life of a farmer. And let me tell you, it ain’t what is shown in the movies. I’ve been able to witness what exactly goes into planting those seeds in the ground and all the time that is spent nuturing those crops while they grow.
I’ve been able to witness harvest. What a beautiful time of the year. It truly takes a village to get a crop out of a field and to the marketplace. From those working in the field to those at home cooking meals, each person plays an important and critical role when harvest rolls around.
Maybe it’s the people or maybe it’s witnessing all these things firsthand that has allowed my heart to literally swell and my eyes light up when ever I get the pleasure to share about Agriculture… Or maybe it’s the fact that I stood up in front of our families and friends and said “I DO” to a life of Agriculture.
Through that union, I have gained far more than just a husband. I have become part of a farm that is truly a family operation in every sense of the word, I have become a resident of a state that lives and breathes agriculture in many of its small rural communities, and one day I will become part of a legacy as we raise the next generation on the farm.
We will be able to teach our children the value of hard work, the heartbreak of losing crops or worse, animals, but most importantly we will be able to teach them perseverance. For many years, the American farmer has learned to persevere in the face of many different enemies and uncertainties. Yet generation after generation continues to hold tight to their faith, hold their heads up, and remind each other that the sun will rise again tomorrow.
So what does Agriculture mean to me?
It’s more than just words on a page. It’s a feeling.
I feel it every single time I stand next to my husband in a field, on the land that his family has farmed for nearly seven decades. I look out on the crops we grew together, as a family. It’s in that very moment, I know that it was by our own hands that this life we live is possible and how truly lucky we are to be living this life.