Friday, October 25, 2013

You're eating food?..Thank you farmer and rancher!

Dear Harvest,

The chopper isn’t working right….Hey boss, there’s a line spewing oil from the tractor….Marcus the harvester won’t unload the rice….My phone has for the last forty plus days constantly been blowing up to these and other calamities which must mean only one thing…..Harvest. From June to November growers across this great state we live in are harvesting the fruits of their labor in order to bring you some of the finest and freshest grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc. that cannot be found in the abundant supply that California offers anywhere else in the world. From rice fields in the Sacramento Valley to the vineyards of Sonoma County and the surrounding regions (Napa gets no plug here) to numerous tree crops in that paradise we call the Central Valley to the salad bowl of the Salinas valley to those green treats we call the avocado in San Diego and all other stops in between you can find everything being grown under the sun and in some cases underground (mushroom plug folks). I know it sounds cliché to hear sometimes but we farmers here in the golden state not only feed America we feed the world. We as a whole provide it with the safest and most cost efficient food choices for people across the globe. I like many farmers out there take my fair share of scrutiny from friends and the media concerning the money we make and the lifestyle that we live or are perceived to live. I hear the jokes all the time about rice farmers working four months in the spring and four months in the fall and we all have cabins in Tahoe and travel to far off places, etc., etc. The truth is yes, this does hold true to some, not only for rice farmers but a lot of farmers across the state. It also can be said about firefighters, police officers, teachers, garbage men, Silicon Valley peeps, etc. If you have done well in any industry you work in and want to indulge and enjoy the fruits of your labor then so be it. The risk farmers take can be huge. There are not a lot of business consultants and economists out there who would recommend putting up millions every year in capital investments in order to make on average a 3-5% return on that expenditure. Farmers both large and small do this not only for what are the chances of higher profits if the market is there but also for the lifestyle that they love. People tend to want to separate farmers into classifications such as “corporate” or “family” or “organic” (it is all organic in nature, it comes from the soil peeps) to name a few.  Every farm be it large or small, thousands of acres or a patch of ground in the city serve a purpose to you, themselves and the community. So as another season of harvests across California comes to a close and winter approaches and you find yourself coming across a farmer or rancher in your daily adventure that is life, thank him or her as you would anyone else who makes your life better and by chance even sneak in a hug or two…”Hug a farmer”, now that sounds like bumper sticker material…

PS. Happy Friday peeps on this sunny day in October. I hope you all have a cocktail filled weekend and remember….If cocktails interfere with your business, give up that business. It’s probably not that fun anyways. 

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