It’s National Ag Day—Thank a Farmer!

March 15, 2016

Ask 10 kids where their food comes from and you’re likely to hear at least a few of them say, “the supermarket.” Many adults would probably say the same thing.

We’ve become so disconnected from the real origins of our food supply—America’s 2.1 million farms and ranches. These farms come in all shapes and sizes—rural, urban, organic, conventional—and are run by more than 3 million farmers of every sex, race, age, and background. What these farmers have in common, though, is a relentless passion for feeding America.

We should celebrate these heroes everyday, but especially today, which is National Ag Day. Organized each year since 1973 by the nonprofit Agriculture Council of America, National Ag Day brings together producers, associations, companies, universities, government agencies, and ordinary consumers like you and me to recognize the contributions of agriculture.

Yes, most of the producers and companies behind the scenes at Ag Day are of the large-scale variety. But the day is to celebrate farming in general—in all its beautiful forms—and we at Thrive Market celebrate the many, many hands that bring us the foods we offer and enjoy here. Our producers take special care to make sure the food they grow is safe and sustainable, its workers fairly paid and treated, and the final products wholesome and delicious.

Here on the blog, we try our best to connect readers and customers with farms and farmers through the stories we tell, the news we share, and the tips we provide. We have a particular affinity for those operating smaller, organic farms, but today we acknowledge and admire all farmers, individuals who have chosen one of the world’s most difficult (and, sadly, thankless) professions.

Speaking about what goes into making a farm, Virginia-based organic farmer Joel Salatin puts it beautifully:

“A farm includes the passion of the farmer’s heart, the interest of the farm’s customers, the biological activity in the soil, the pleasantness of the air about the farm—it’s everything touching, emanating from, and supplying that piece of landscape. A farm is virtually a living organism.”

So today, as we break open a bag of carrots or munch on a salad at our desk or bite into a granola bar, let’s remember that these things didn’t primarily emanate from a store or even a farmer’s market. They came from a farm.

Thank you, farmers.

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Steve Holt

Steve Holt's stories about food, nutrition and food politics are found at Civil Eats, TakePart.com, Boston Magazine, and elsewhere. He's been featured in the Best Food Writing anthology. Follow his tweets and Instagrams @thebostonwriter.

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