Advocates in unlikely places

It’s been a rough winter, spring and summer for those of us in agriculture. Besides battling the weather and bad markets, we are getting hit from all sides with various issues. If it’s not GMO debates or tariffs, it’s fake meat or all the crazy fake milks. The list of issues is really exhausting.

When my sister came to visit, she shared her church bulletin. It really made my day.

I would like to share what Father Anthony Smith of St. John the Evangelist Church in Watertown, Conn., had to say.

“For most of us the weather is either a great pleasure when it’s sunny or a bit of a nuisance when it rains. But for our farmers, the weather is always on their mind and it’s cooperation is essential for their livelihood…

For our farmers it is an important and busy time as they plant their fields in hopes they will yield a bountiful crop. Perhaps it is a good time to give thanks and pray for those who choose a very challenging vocation to farm the land and provide the bounty of food we enjoy every day.

Farming is hard. There are no Monday through Friday workweeks with weekends off, long lazy vacations in summer or set hours of work. It can be anxious work hoping and praying the weather cooperates. It requires physical labor, knowledge of science and skill in the latest technology. But most of it requires a great love for the land and God’s creatures. It is a noble vocation indeed for we all benefit from the labor of a few.”

Thank you, Father Anthony. He really seems to understand agriculture and advocates for us.

I was so encouraged by his article. He is in a suburb of Waterbury, Conn., population 108,000. There are 5,900 farms in Connecticut, less than 100 dairies. For comparison’s sake, there are 59,000 farms in Kansas, 290 licensed dairies.

Of course, the size of Connecticut is 17 times smaller than the size of Kansas, with 721,000 more people. I once saw that the state of Connecticut was roughly the size of one county in Montana. They might have more people, but I think we have more cows.

Jody Holthaus47 Posts

Jody Holthaus is the Meadowlark Extension District agent in the area of livestock and natural resources.

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