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Farmers work hard from field to plate

Posted on September 12, 2017 by Sunny South News
Sunny South Photo by Nikki Jamieson

The end of summer is bittersweet. As August comes to a close and September approaches, one must say goodbye to days of lazing about, sun-filled getaways and parties around the BBQ. With the approach of autumn comes school days and work commitments, which most people can agree it’s not their best cup of tea. Summer is fun, while autumn on the other hand, is not so much.

Still, at least the average person can sleep in on their days off work.

While we’re enjoying the final days of summers, another type of person has been hard at work; farmers, ranchers and all those in the ag-industry. While we were sleeping in, they’ve been up at the crack of dawn — perhaps even earlier — to warm up their machines and get ready for a full days work. While we’re reading in the shade they’re driving up and down their fields to gather the fruits of their labour. While we’re debating which ice cream to eat, they’re keeping an eye on their crops to determine when the optimum ripeness will occur. While we’re in air-conditioned movie theatres, they’re out in the blazing sun stacking bales of hay.

Yes, it may be cliché to say, but their hard work puts food on our table. Without them, you won’t be able to have pancakes for breakfast — well, at least without getting up extra early to churn the butter, mill the grain, ect.

And lets face it, the average person is kind of lazy in that regard. We so do not want to get up before dawn just to make a piece of toast.

To be a bit more serious; without farmers, we don’t have a reliable source of food. If we can’t eat, then we can’t work, and if we can’t work that severely diminishes our own ability to find food.

It can be easy to forget how hard farmers work, as we can get food so easily  these days.

Whether it is at your local grocery store, corner store or food truck, or whether you are doing your big shopping trip or just a milk run, the ease of it all will have absolutely baffled our ancestors who had to get up at said crack of dawn.

Not to mention the selection — last time I picked up milk there was at least 10 different types to choose from, and that’s without getting into the lactose-free varieties. Everyone, no matter what your dietary needs or preferences are, can always find something to eat.

We are spoiled for choice when it come to what’s for dinner, and we often take that for granted.

Without farmers and farm workers, who, among many other things, are up early, brave the elements, not-so-nice roads and pests to ensure we can all eat, that simply would not be possible.

We also cannot deny that farmers have their fair share of troubles as well. Just some of the recent ones that come to mind, here in Alberta, are the unharvested crops in northern Alberta from last year; the bovine tuberculosis scare that had shut down the cow industry in the province and is still being investigated today; and the summer-long drought that southern Alberta has been stuck in while wild fires rage to the west.

Although the latter problem has been alleviated a little bit by irrigation, dry land farmers have a bit of a different tale to tell.

Agriculture has also allowed southern Alberta to weather out the worst of the recession, which had hit other parts of the province rather hard. The no. 2 industry in Alberta has proven quite resilient throughout the years, and those who have chosen it as a profession have shown, time and time again, that they are not afraid of a little  — actually in this case it is an awful lot of — bit of hard work.

Farmers: we, at the Sunny South News, are thankful for your hard work, and why the harvest season may just about be over for you this year, we wish you have, or had, a very good harvest this year.

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