Thanks to farmers, U.S. has no shortage of food
Recently several North Koreans were reported to have escaped their country, fleeing to Shanghai, China, to seek asylum, not as political refugees, but as refugees from the famine that has ravished their country and killed many of their countrymen the past few years.
Because of bad weather and drought, North Korean farmers have not been able to produce enough food to feed their nation.
One refugee said he was forced to eat whatever he could find to stay alive, including rats, snakes and worms. There was no other food.
He said many North Koreans have starved to death, and he expects many more will die this winter as food continues in short supply.
Here in the United States, we are blessed to have no shortage of food. Even though some people in America may go hungry, the cause is not a lack of food but rather their inability, for whatever reason, to obtain food.
It has long been my belief that America’s farmers are the unsung heroes of our nation, and they should be given more recognition for the job they do. After all, if they don’t produce the food, we have nothing to eat.
It has also long been my belief that if all the restrictions, such as crop limits and import quotas — imposed by other nations — were removed, the farmers of the United States, alone, could produce and export enough food to feed every person in the world at a reasonable price and still have food left over.
Farming is not a glamorous profession. It is hard, dirty, risky work, but, thank God, we have people who are willing to do it.
Our farmers make huge investments in land, farm equipment, livestock, seed and fertilizer yet have no guarantee of being able to make a profit.
In addition, farmers have to contend with the elements over which they have little or no control.
Farmers know a sudden streak of bad weather, a tornado, hail or drought can wipe out a crop and any profit, making it tough for him or her to go on to plant another crop the next year.
Farmers work long hours and often see little reward for their efforts.
A Harrison County farmer, who has lost his crop of soybeans and corn to the dry weather and heat this summer, said, “Farmers don’t count the hours they work because the pay per hour would be so low it would be depressing. We farm because it is a way of life for us.”
In recent years, many small family farms have been lost. Farmers have found it increasingly hard to make a living from working the land and have quit.
Fortunately, organizations like Future Farmers of America and 4-H encourage young people to make a career of farming and ensure another generation of food producers.
One of my friends, a hog farmer in the Hancock Chapel area for many years, stopped raising hogs because the price for pork had fallen so low there was no longer any profit in it. He said the big farms were trying to push out the little farmers by keeping the price low.
Farmers are small business people in every sense of the word. They are hard working, independent, self-susficient people who like the freedom and challenges of farm life. They are capable people who provide for others.
Farmers must be optimists.
Every American owes a great debt to our farmers and should take a moment to salute the men and women of our nation who work to provide the food we eat. We should also take a moment to bow our heads and thank God for His blessings on our nation. It’s not by accident that the United States is blessed with such an abundance.