Ever noticed how much you can tell about someone by their facebook posts? Better yet, have you ever noticed how much you can tell about yourself by reading your facebook news feed? For example, during the election I was still living in Africa and not in touch with America at all, but judging by my friends’ facebook posts, no one in America was going to be voting for Obama. Not one. Judging by my facebook feed, Romney was the obvious choice to be America’s next President. Apparently, I have a lot of conservative republican friends. Go figure.
(Please note: The above is not a political statement, simply a general observation!)
I had another similar experience the night of the Superbowl. I called it quits on the game early because I managed to receive a parking violation at my friend’s house *rebel* so I figured it was time to get on the road. By the time I got home my facebook feed was blowing up with people excited about the Dodge Farmer commercial. My facebook friends weren’t talking about Beyonce’s hyper-sexual performance or who won or lost the game (now that I think about it, I have no idea who actually ended up winning that game…that’s how much I cared), they were talking about the farmer commercial. Considering that much of my facebook friend base is made up of agriculture teachers and others involved in the promotion of the agricultural industry that isn’t surprising at all. It warmed my heart to see so many people so proudly supporting the agricultural industry. So much so that for a minute I almost believed that all of America felt as strongly about that commercial as my friends and I did. But I know from experience now (please reference my first paragraph) that is not necessarily the case.
On the night of the Superbowl, my supervisor’s wife and friend who still lives in Africa working with subsistence farmers posted regarding the commercial: “A tribute for farmers all over the world – those with tractors and those with oxen, those with Dodge trucks and those with leathery barefeet that take them everywhere they need to go.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. As much as my heart was warmed by the reminder of American farmers and the work they do to provide us with a safe and abundant food supply, Candi’s post brought me back to the reality of my farmer friends in Africa…the ones without dodge trucks, the ones without tractors, still working off the land, but sadly more in an effort to simply exist and barely scrape by and not necessarily to provide safe and abundant food.
How many times have you cracked open an egg in America and have had to worry about what might actually be inside that egg? How many times have you cooked a chicken in America that didn’t have enough meat on it to make a measly pot of chicken and dumplings? How many times have you had to pasteurize your own milk or make your own yogurt? When is the last time you washed every fruit or vegetable you ate in bleach water in an effort to be sure you weren’t going to welcome a little friend into your gut? The answer is probably never. Because you live in America, where you are basically guaranteed a safe and abundant food supply. My answer to the above questions over the past two years would be “too many times to count.”
Now there are those in America who would say that we have other things to worry about with our food supply in America. Government supported farming, excessive shipping routes, factory farmed foods, too many chemicals, and the list could go on and on. I am not saying that there aren’t things we could improve or that there aren’t ways we could work to make the industry even better. That’s another blog for another day. What I am saying is that we should be grateful for what we do have – an agricultural industry that is able to take care of the food needs of our entire country (in abundance) as well as other parts of the world in a way that is economically feasible as well as safe to eat. It’s not perfect, but it could be worse. If you don’t believe me, you should try Africa on for size.
Here at the seminary, they teach us such things as the creational (or cultural) mandate. That God created man to have dominion over the earth, to be fruitful and multiply – Gen. 1:26-28. While I obviously do not agree with the Dodge Ram commercial that on the 8th day God created a farmer – pretty sure that is grounds for heresy and would get me swiftly removed from my degree program – I am grateful that God created man and gave him dominion over the land. I am grateful that I live in a country where I have never, ever ran out of food and have also never had to worry about the safety of said food.
So, that is a whole lot of preaching and rambling simply to say this:
I like food. I like farmers. I like America.
Thank a farmer. Thank God for farmers.
May 2013 truly be the Year of the Farmer, both in America and Africa.
Happy National FFA Week.
10 year throwback. 2002-2003 Georgia State FFA Officer Team.