Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's National Agriculture Day!

It’s National Agriculture Day! I’m celebrating because dairy farming has been a way of life for me and my family for generations. My husband and I are glad to be raising our boys on a farm. But agriculture doesn’t only impact farm families, it’s far reaching touching everyone’s life.

Today is a great opportunity to reflect on how agriculture makes a positive impact in our lives; 
Food quality & choice – there is a larger variety of quality food in the store today than ever before

Fiber - plants, like cotton, and animals, like sheep, goats, and alpacas, produce wonderful fibers

By-products - many household items, medicine and other goods contain plant and animal products

Open space - large flat fields, small rolling fields, barns and tractors create beautiful landscapes 

Economic impact - farmers purchase lots of products and services which support local businesses

Strong community - farms are the backbone of viable rural communities 

This is one of my favorite photos of my sons, Garrett and Jack, and my husband, Lad

As dairy farmers, we are interested in making improvements that benefit the animals we care for and the land we grow crops on. Part of working smart is utilizing technology and other tools available to do a better job producing food using fewer resources.

My 2013 National Ag Day blog post shared the Evolution of Dairy Farming featuring improvements dairy farmers have made over the years. It includes thoughts from my father, Tony Souza, and my father-in-law, Duane Hastings, both dairy farmers who have experienced many changes in dairy farming over the years.

Dairy farming is a unique and challenging business. In order to sustain farming and the food choices people enjoy today, it’s necessary to embrace farmers of all types and sizes. Successful farms producing quality food can be large, small, organic, or conventional. Healthy animals can be fed a variety of feed stuffs and be housed inside or outside. It’s ok if we adopt different practices. The goal for all farmers is caring for land and animals to produce quality products people want to consume. After all, we live on our farms and eat the food produced here!

National Ag Day is the perfect time to celebrate the food quality and choices we enjoy in this country. Thanks to farmers who work hard every day and to consumers who support what we do!

6 comments:

  1. Robin from the Bring It On Home blog (http://www.bringitonhomeblog.com/2014/03/an-excuse-for-not-meeting-customers.html) shared similar sentiments about the industry. I think both of you are correct; diversity in practices is a good thing. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Colby. I read Robin's post and appreciate what she has to say. I agree we need to produce products people want. I also believe that it's wrong to bash a segment of agriculture in order to sell high priced burritos (or other products). If you make a quality product, it will stand on its own.

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    2. That was my response to the post, essentially.

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  2. Good post. I love the photo. We have never had any of these little "livestock houses" but am thinking I might like a few. If I Google, what are they called. Our cattle all give birth in birthing pasture and stay there with babies. This year was colder than usual (we are usually not too cold) and I could have used a few. If calf is fragile we move them to barns. I still think I would like several!!!
    (http://weekendcowgirl.com/)

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    1. Thanks Weekend Cowgirl! This little house is called a calf hutch. If you Google "calf hutch" you will find several companies that make them. We bed the hutches with straw which keeps calves cozy in the winter. This was especially important this winter because it was so cold. I think we're all looking forward to spring!

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  3. Farmers has a huge role in the society when it comes to safe and healthy foods we eat in everyday. They have the liability and huge responsibility regarding to the food security and the number of production. We should thank them for their hard work and passion in farming as they put their heart while working to that. Kudos to all farmers!

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Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment! I’m opening the doors of our farm to share with you and enjoy engaging in discussion. Please be respectful in your comments. I reserve the right to remove posts that include name calling, slander, and vulgar language or contain links to websites that assault animal agriculture.

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