As a member of the agricultural community that provides food and fiber for the 98 percent of the population that is not involved in farming, I want to thank all of you for your support of this most vital industry in Mississippi.
One of the many things that makes America the greatest country on earth is the ability of our farmers to provide food, shelter, and clothing to us at a much more affordable price than citizens of most any other country in the world. It’s been said that as agriculture goes, so goes the economy. That’s particularly true here in Mississippi. Ag income turns over at least seven times in the rural economy, keeping local businesses like hardware stores, tractor dealerships, co-ops, and many others afloat.
Whenever I’m given the chance, I like to point out that we cannot afford to become dependent on any other country for our food like we are for our oil. Farmers in Mississippi and across the nation are proud of our profession and want to continue to produce efficiently the same high-quality products that consumers have come to expect and can afford. I have never met a farmer who did not want his farm to be sustainable. I have never met a farmer who was not concerned about pollution, water quality, and soil management. I have never met a farmer who was not concerned about the welfare of their animals and who did not care for them deeply.
So the next time you grab an ear of corn at the supermarket, eye the piles of freshly picked tomatoes, green beans, or peas at a farm stand or find yourself staring at the possibilities in the butcher's case, take a moment to consider what went into getting these products to you. And as you gather around your dinner table this Thanksgiving to give thanks to our Creator for all his divine blessings, it is fitting that we thank him for the men and women of agriculture who use all of the resources God provides to improve the quality of our lives.
May God bless each of you and keep you safe this holiday season.
Randy Knight, President
Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation