Tuesday is National Ag Day. For a state like Kansas, where agriculture is a pillar of the economy, Tuesday is worth celebrating.
Our state and agriculture go hand in hand. A farmer tilling precious soil is even emblazoned on our great seal. The state’s two nicknames come from crops, the Sunflower State and Wheat State.
Let’s face it, if you’re from Kansas, agriculture is part of your identity. Perhaps it’s how you make your livelihood on a wheat farm or cow-calf operation. Maybe your family owns a century farm. Your neighbor might own an up-and coming precision ag business.
Maybe you live in a rural community and are supported indirectly by farmers and ranchers who are patrons of your business.
It’s not hard to find connections no matter where you look.
Even if you don’t work directly in agriculture, you benefit from it. If you enjoyed wheat, corn or soy products today, you can thank a farmer. If you ate beef, pork or poultry this week, you can thank a farmer. If you are wearing something made from cotton, you can thank a farmer.
We extend our most heartfelt gratitude to those who have chosen a profession in agriculture. Kansas wouldn’t be our home on the range without you.
Frankly, Kansas wouldn’t be Kansas.
To our readers, we hope you’ll also thank a farmer this Tuesday. You don’t have to go physically shake their hand — actually, please don’t do that at the moment. The best way to thank them is to buy an American ag product of which there are plenty. They could really use your support, because lately, things haven’t been as easy for them.
Our papers have been reporting about the recent hardships the ag industry as a whole has been facing. It’s not exactly bleak, but it certainly isn’t pretty.
Of late, farmers have faced an unexpected trade war, poor weather, flooding and other unforeseen hardships. These have led to an upturn in farm foreclosures and a major need for mental health care.
We bring this up not to dampen your day but highlight the strength and resiliency of our Kansas farmers and ranchers.
These hardworking men and women work day in and day out in often thankless conditions to put food on the tables of thousands of people they’ll never meet.
That’s beautiful to us. That’s poetic. Most importantly, that’s Kansas.