Why are you thankful for family farmers? The Farm Aid staff responds.

November 2009

As November honors the bounty of the season with its own special holiday, I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this column to thanking America’s family farmers for making that bountiful harvest possible in the first place. This month, instead of answering a question from a reader, I asked our dedicated Farm Aid staff a question of my own: Why are you thankful for family farmers?

Each reply I received was wonderfully heartfelt and inspired—pieces of which I am sharing below.

“I am thankful that family farmers are so skilled in managing the complexity of the family farm. I admire the variety of their skills, the dedication to daily tasks, the keen observation of the animals and the crops. I'm thankful that they have enough trust to put a seed in the ground, in spite of the awful risks of weather, pests, and bad prices.”
      — Glenda Yoder, Associate Director

“I'm thankful for family farmers because of what they do and what they stand for. Through honest and hard work, they produce something vital to us all. Whether it's eating the first fresh strawberries on the sunniest June day or relying on a soup cooked with love (from ingredients grown with care) on a dark and snowy January evening, we count on food in so many ways. Unfortunately, so much of our lives is driven by industrial artificiality—pushing buttons to shift "money" from place to place where nothing is really created. No one can say that about farmers; their hands are in the dirt every day growing food.”
      — Matt Glidden, Web Marketing Manager

“Thanksgiving always reminds me of the importance of good food and good, smart farmers. I am blessed with several amazing cooks in my family who are always on the hunt for fresh, tasty produce. Each year, our Thanksgiving table is a veritable cornucopia of squashes, potatoes, cranberry dishes, brussel sprouts, parsnips, pies, turkey—you name it! I know this would be completely impossible without the hard work of family farmers who are committed to keeping our land and food healthy. It only renews my commitment to the mission of helping family farmers thrive and making sure more people know their value and can have access to their food.”
      — Alicia Harvie, Program Manager

“I am thankful for family farmers’ determination, resilience, and courage in the face of very hard times, and for providing every morsel of food on my plate, every day of the year.”
      — Joel Morton, Hotline and Resource Network Coordinator

“I am thankful for family farmers who make eating fresh, local food possible. It is one of my favorite pastimes.”
      — Anna Miragliuolo, Member Services Specialist

“I grew up in a small town in CT and there were farmers all around us. We bought corn from the farm around the corner and picked raspberries and strawberries in the next town. I learned first hand how buying fresh, local family farmed products not only taste better but helped the community. I'm thankful that there are farmers near me now so I can help my children connect with the people who grow our food so they understand the importance of having good stewards of the land and so I can reap the bounty of their
yummy harvest!”

      — Wendy Matusovich, Resource Development Director

“I am thankful for family farmers for their determination to make it work. I am thankful for family farmers' commitment to remaining independent, empowered and strong, while rolling with the punches that the seasons deliver.”
      — Cornelia Hoskin, HOMEGROWN Shepherdess

“I am thankful for family farmers at Thanksgiving because the food they grow is fresh and nourishing. There is something very spiritual for me in cooking and sharing with loved ones that I cherish this time of year.”
      — Kari Williams, Development Relations Manager

“I am thankful for family farmers because they care about more than getting rich. They care about the land, the food and me, the consumer.”
      — Christina Petrucci, Farm Aid Intern

“I am thankful for our family farmers because I love to eat fresh locally grown food. When I stop in to see Mr. Scimone at his street side farm stand in Bedford, I love to buy his dirty freshly dug potatoes, fresh corn, tomatoes and his great collection of fresh picked apples. It makes me smile when I see the aged picture of the first graduating class of Bedford High School, 1958, which both he and my mother-in-law shared, framed on a shelf next to his antique cash register.”
      — Joanna Dyment, Bookkeeper/Office Manager

“I'm thankful for the stories family farmers have to tell. Explanations of how they went from being a city-slicker to being a farmer, or how they're both at the same time! Tales of abandoned lambs bottle-raised and saved. Information about how the food I get from family farmers was grown--with love and care. Histories about the great-grandparents who started the farm and passed it on down the line. Lineages of a certain kind of apple or chicken. Tips about how to cook things like garlic scapes and rutabagas and unfamiliar greens. Comedies about chasing the piglets who escaped their pasture and went tearing through the woods. Even the stories of the struggles of family farmers--with bad weather,bad luck, bad prices, but with their hope intact through it all. Food that comes with a story is the best sustenance of all.”
      — Jennifer Fahy, Communications Director

This Thanksgiving, I hope you all will get a chance to take some time with family and friends to celebrate America’s family farmers and give thanks for the good food they bring to our tables during the holidays and throughout the year. Please join us in showing your gratitude for family farmers by leaving words of thanks in the comments below.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Farm Aid family to yours!

Your thoughtful comments are encouraged, but all comments are held for moderation to protect against spam. Farm Aid does not censor or refuse comments for content unless they are spam or a personal attack.

A New Farm Economy Rises from Tobacco’s Ashes - August, 2014

10 Things the New Census of Agriculture Tells Us About Family Farmers and Our Food System - July 2014

How will the Keystone XL pipeline affect our farmers and farmland? - April, 2014

Parched: What the West shows us about our water future - March, 2014

What does Farm Aid do with the money that it raises at the annual concert? - October 2013

I live in New York and dairy farmers seem to be struggling. What can I do to help? - September 2013

I have heard horror stories about the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico this year. How can farmers better support our waterways? - July 2013

I finally got around to watching "Food, Inc." I was floored to see what poultry producers actually go through. Is this really what's behind the chicken on my plate? - May 2013

Why is it so difficult for farmers to find affordable farmland these days? - March 2013

The PBS documentary about the Dust Bowl was amazing – what a disaster of epic proportions and a reminder of how important the soil is to our lives! How do today’s farmers care for the soil? - November 2012

The other day, I came across "grassfed beef" in the supermarket. Aren't all beef cattle fed grass? If not, what do they eat? Is this something I should feed my family? - October 2012

How do I find a university that values family farmers and the Good Food Movement? - September 2012

I'm a big supporter of organic agriculture, but some of my friends say it isn't a practical way to feed the world. Is that true? - August 2012

How does someone with no experience get into farming? - August 2012

How is climate change affecting family farmers? What are they doing about it? - April 2012

Is the USDA truly supporting local and regional agriculture?  - March 2012

I'm concerned about the use of antibiotics in farm animals and would like to find antibiotic-free meat and poultry products. Any suggestions? - February 2012

How does the occupy movement relate to farmers? - January 2012

What can you tell me about family farm turkey? - November 2011

How will labeling genetically engineered food do anything for family farmers? - October 2011

Word is big cuts are in store for farmers in the upcoming Farm Bill. What is the Farm Bill and what will budget cuts mean for family farmers? - September 2011

I've been seeing a lot of farm plots spring up around the city. I didn't even realize people could farm in cities—how can I get involved in this! - August 2011

This year’s weather has been a nightmare and lots of farms in my area are struggling. What help is there available for farmers struck by disaster? - July 2011

I watched "Food, Inc." recently and was surprised by how animals were treated and meat was produced in America. This seems crazy to me. Why can’t we get meat from better sources? - June 2011

A lot of farmers in my area are leasing their land for hydraulic fracturing — is it good or bad? What do farmers say? - June 2011

What's a food hub? How can they help me? - April 2011

High farm prices are in the news — are farmers getting rich? - March 2011

I know the U.S. government just allowed a few new GE crops on the market — should I be worried? - February 2011

How can I find food from local farmers during the cold winter months? - January 2011

A year-in-review on corporate concentration in agriculture. - November 2010

Can you tell me about starting farm to school programs? I’m a farmer and I’d love to provide schools in my area with healthy food. - October 2010

No offense, but what has Farm Aid really done all these years aside from put on a good concert? - September 2010

I really want to get local meats, but they don't seem to be available. Why is that? - August 2010

Answering reader questions with our report, "Rebuilding America’s Economy with Family Farm-Centered Food Systems" - July 2010

I just read an article that anticipates 200 dairies will go under in my state by the end of 2010. Why are dairy farmers in so much trouble right now? - June 2010

How is credit affecting family farmers right now? - May 2010

What exactly is a family farm? How does it differ from a factory farm? - April 2010

What's up with food safety? Could new laws hurt family farmers? - March 2010

How can a food system that offers so much variety be constricting consumer choice? - February 2010

I keep hearing about "concentration" in farming. What does that mean and how does it affect me?  - January 2010

What’s Farm Aid’s grant program all about? Where does all the money go? - December 2009

Why are you thankful for family farmers? The Farm Aid staff responds. - November 2009

What are some ways people can get involved in farm activism? - October 2009

I've been seeing a lot of interest lately in seed saving. It seems like a lot of work, why bother? - September 2009

Are factory farms still a threat to America’s family farmers? - August 2009

Do you have any tips for how to fit a farmers market into my busy life? - July 2009

What’s the best way to get more farm fresh food into my child’s school cafeteria? - June 2009

How do I get involved in the dairy crisis at the grassroots level? - May 2009

How can we fix the food safety system without hurting family farmers? - April 2009

How exactly are GE crops regulated? And how can I be sure that I am protected? - March 2009

Dairy farmers are struggling for survival right now - why? - February 2009

Is there a reason why Farm Aid doesn’t grant more to individual farmers? - January 2009

How is the credit crisis affecting farmers and agriculture in America? - December 2008

What does the change in administration mean for family farmers? - November 2008

Where do John McCain and Barack Obama stand on agricultural issues? - October 2008

Does Farm Aid know of any programs that help young people start their own farm? - September 2008

Just how does Farm Aid decide where to host the show each year? - August 2008

Laura looks back on three years answering your questions - July 2008

I try to buy local and from family farmers whenever possible. Why is it so hard to find meat from area farmers? - June 2008

How do you decide who is and isn’t a family farmer? How many family farmers are there in the United States? - May 2008

I see raw milk from time to time at my local grocery, some folks say it’s good –others say its dangerous- what’s the deal? - April 2008

I seem to be spending more and more at the grocery store these days. Is it true that corn prices and ethanol are making my food cost more? - March 2008

I feel like I used to see a lot more in the news about GMOs. I haven’t managed to keep up to date and now I’m not really even sure what’s out there. Could you give me a little update on GMOs? - February 2008

What’s going on with the Farm Bill? Didn’t it pass recently? Is there anything good for family farmers in it? - January 2008

What do farmers do in the winter? - December 2007

What are you serving for Thanksgiving? - November 2007

How did Farm Aid replace the typical concert foods at Farm Aid 2007 and what were the criteria? - October 2007

What do Farm Aid folks do during the winter? - September 2007

Can you suggest some ways to drink locally or seasonally? - August 2007

Is it legal and humane to keep chickens in the city? - July 2007

Is it possible to compost in the city? - June 2007

Should everyone who wants to lessen their impact on the environment consider giving up meat? - May 2007

Can you suggest farm related activities for kids to do? - April 2007

Am I supporting family farmers when I purchase a product labeled organic? - March 2007

Can you help me simplify my food shopping in a way that still supports my values? - February 2007

What New Year's resolutions can I make that will support family farmers? - January 2007

How does Farm Aid help family farmers, where does the money go? - December 2006

How can I find a family farm turkey for Thanksgiving? - November 2006

Is it possible to shop locally on a budget? - October 2006

Why can't I get any of this "delicious food from family farmers" at the Farm Aid concert? - September 2006

Do you have any advice for developing classroom activities involving good food? - August 2006

Who are the farmers in the United States? - July 2006

What kind of work is Farm Aid doing with biodiesel? - June 2006

When will tomatoes be available in farmers markets? - May 2006

Are factory farm birds safer than outdoor birds? - April 2006

Could you tell me a little about the food in New Orleans today? Can you even get local foods in the city? - March 2006

What is biodynamic farming? - February 2006

Why do different companies promote different kinds of pasteurization for milk? - January 2006

How can I eat seasonally year-round if nothing is growing in my area? - December 2005

With all of the devastating elements that farmers have to face, who can help them when a disaster comes? - November 2005

Why is it so hard to find fresh, locally grown produce in my area of Staten Island, NY? - October 2005

What is a "family farm food system"? - June 2005

How can I find a farm near me? - May 2005

What does April on the farm mean in different states? - April 2005

Who are the corporate players in the meat industry? - March 2005

What questions can I ask my grocer? - February 2005

An Introduction to Ask Laura - January 2005

What is grass roots organizing? - August 2005

Where does school food come from? - July 2005

Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 8:44:51 AM 
Thank you----Family farms are fantastic
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 8:48:50 AM 
They grow my food. What's not to be thankful for!

Chef Bev Shaffer, cookbook author/food writer
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 8:51:05 AM 
Few work as hard as our American family farmers.
Sincere thanks for all you do for America!
God Bless you for all your efforts!
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 8:51:08 AM 
I am thankful to family farms because they care about their consumers and provide the best quality. It is always a pleasure buying produce that is home grown. Thank you
Delores/ New York
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 8:57:56 AM 
To family farmers I say thank you for carrying on the centuries of traditions necessary to cultivate our land. Without you, these traditions would be lost forever. Without these traditions who will care for our planet and the people living on it? It's an awesome responsibility. Very few people these days are willing to accept the amount of work involved in farming. For those of you who work from before dawn to after dark to take care of us all, you always have my support and graditude. I cannot imagine my life without fresh eggs, honey, and veggies. Thank you.
--Shelly Maddox
Gypsum, CO
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:07:09 AM 
Thank you family farmers for allowing us to stay linked to our food sources. You provide a face, a location, and a vital connection to the earth that we just can't get with big agribusiness.

Montague, MI
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:08:14 AM 
I am thankful for family farmers for the wonderful bounty of foods they produce and for the example they are to all of us. The lessons they teach their kids, and all of ours, about the rewards of hard work, and the ability to work with nature. Thank you family farmers, where would we be without you!
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:08:21 AM 
I am thankful for fresh good food grown by family farmers. I am thankful that my gardens are always boutiful and we are able to give to others some of this bounty. What we can't eat, I can. I love our local market for bringing wonderful food to the community. I wear my new t-shirt that says, "I eat locally because I can" and it has a picture of my canning cellar. Keep growing America and get others interested. Nadine Wykle, Frankford, WV
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:08:28 AM 
A sincere Thank You Very Much for feeding our country! It's a lifestyle that we could all model. We all need to green up and grow something!! It's always a pleasure to have something on our dinner table that is home grown! Bless you and your families throughout this holiday season.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:14:36 AM 
I'm grateful for family farmers' willingness to work from "cain't see to cain't see" when they have no certainty they'll even make enough money to survive.
I'm grateful to them for the connection to the land which they sustain for us all.
Most of all, I'm grateful to them for all the wonderful, yummy food they grow.
Fresh Food Nancy
St. Louis, MO
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:19:50 AM 
am thankful for farmers and th har work they do to feed the world and the bs they take from peta,husa,etc. am thankful that i followed my grandfathers footsteps cause i am 1 of those farmers an d damm proud to be 1
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:24:53 AM 
I'm thankful for the inspiration family farmers provide for me and the rest of my generation as we come to a new age of confusion. They provide many of the answers to the questions my generation has to address.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:30:34 AM 
I am thankful for the good farmers who work hard to produce healthy organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and grains. I am thankful for the good farmers who are good stewards of the land and water. I am thankful for the good farmers who don't abuse animals. And I am thankful for the good farmers who are active in community and political organizations because they realize we are all in this together and we must stand together to work for a better world.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:41:07 AM 
As a native Long Islander and honorary Vermonter, I have seen many local, family farms fold after generations of hard work and beautiful bounty. It is sad too that the "retirement plan" for these farmers is to sell their rich acreage to developers of condos or other. So, individuals and supermarkets: Buy local! Join a CSA! Shop Farmers Markets!
Heartfelt thanks to the Farmers.
MW, Long Island, NY
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:41:24 AM 
I am thankful for the good family farmers who work so hard, starting at the crack of dawn, so that we can all enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meats that sustain us. Too often farmers are taken for granted by people in big cities and suburbs who buy processed and commercial food at the supermarkets. Buying fresh farm food creates a real connection to real people who care. Thank you all!!!
--Lou Refano
Oceanside, NY
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:43:34 AM 
I am thankful for the hard-working family farmers because they care about what goes on my plate!!
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:44:22 AM 
Why don't you ask our President. Maybe he will remember all the support he had for farmers when he was a Senator at Farm Aid , talking a bunch of BS a few years back. I watched it on YouTube. It makes me sick to my stomach to listen to him talk about support , while we borrow thousands each month , just to pay reg expenses. It COSTS me $5 everytime I milk a cow on our 4th generation dairy farm , while we struggle to keep the place.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:47:05 AM 
I appreciate the family farmers who have kept the tradition of Family Farming alive. Those personal touches to every product and the information about those who have spent their lives bringing good food to the cities.

John P
Forest Hills, New York
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:54:20 AM 
I am thankful for my family farmer that with great care, raised healthy and happy turkeys... one of which will feed my family as we give thanks this Thanksgiving.
Millersburg, PA
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:59:43 AM 
i suppose we should ALL be eternally gratefull to our government,for taxing the local farmers, and for there awesome hormone injections they require, and the toxic fertilizers that washes into our water supply, and for the freedom for my family to choose between food and gasoline, and yes we should all get down on or hands and knees and bow to our government for shipping the cattle from the ranch next door to a foreign country rather than to our strugling neighbors, and thank God the government passed the health care bill, jees they only spent a few trillion dollars just discussing that one!!!and so come january if me and my three kids don't starve to death or die from the swine flu well i will suddenly be a CRIMINAL because i do NOT have health insurance....
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:00:04 AM 
They give life, grow our food, sustain & nurture us, help us stay healthy, and provide the small - and not so small - joys in life. Thank you for all that you provide.
Joan B. & Stan G.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:04:53 AM 
government regulation and taxation are making it impossible for a true farmer to survive
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:09:46 AM 
Family farmers are going John Galt just enough for ourselves
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:10:10 AM 
american farmers need to be able to take care of thier own
SIMPLICITY is the key
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:15:46 AM 
if the farmer can't take care of thier own than they can't take care of the rest of us
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:17:34 AM 
Family farmers are hard-working individuals who get little in return. They are truly interested in the community and enjoy educating the public about the importance of family farms. Every day, it seems there is another farm selling out. I am thankful there are still a few individuals who take pride in growing healthy food to share with the community.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:18:38 AM 
i voted for wille for president on a write in balot
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:19:08 AM 
I am thankful to family farmers for keeping the traditions of seed preservation, environmental stewardship, and good animal husbandry alive now and for generations to come. I will continue giving my 'dollar votes' to local farmers who practice sustainable agriculture.

Columbus, OH
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:26:49 AM 
how bout "willie for president of the new Republic of Texas, with Tribal council as the governing body,,with that combo we will have everybody smiling while native americans repair our country and learn to properly respect this planet
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:28:46 AM 
so politicall incorrect,how refreshing
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:40:00 AM 
I'm thankful for family farmers, who are the true guardians and nurturers of life in our world: from returning natural nutrients to our precious soil to feed our tiniest microbial workers, through ensuring soil life’s capacity to enfold rain and astral energies, through maintaining the connection between our food plants and animals and the soil, to making soil-enlivened and soil-energized food available for the nourishment of our own bodies, family farmers are the true collective right hand of God and are the people in our world who do the most to allow life to continue to be possible.

Louis "Buddy" Hale
Kilgore, TX
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:41:58 AM 
While the agribusiness model pretty much finished off family farms in the 80s and mass food corporations became a dominating influence some of the long time farmers did manage to survive and with the emergence newer ones we have an invaluable national resource. I am very happy and thankful that family farmers are getting the respect they deserve...mostly though I want to thank them for offering good, fresh quality foods in a time when mass produced foods get more and more outlandish and jeopardize our health and the environment Save our family farms be green eat local I love you Willie for your voice and your commitment Judith in KY
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:54:18 AM 
They're tenacious, resilient, resourceful and dedicated. It's in their blood; a part of their soul. I'm profoundly proud of and thankful for my husband and other farmers for everything they give/sacrifice everyday for this "thing" they believe in so strongly despite many hardships and struggles they face. Bless you all, we stand steadfastly behind each of you!!
Susan in Missouri
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 11:29:54 AM 
My family is highly thankful for our American farmers. We respect their hard work and way of life. I am proud of our farmers and wish all our farmers the recognition they deserve.

Spring Creek, Nevada
The Noland Family
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 11:30:09 AM 
We just got back from a Harvest Fest in Phillipston,MA. They have been having this for 7 years now, it is at the Red Apple Farm, of course we by apples and apple products from them year round but in the fall they have much more to offer. We have been buying our vegies, pies, cranberries and many of our other Thanksgiving Day feast there for years, even prior to them starting Harvest Fest. It is fresh, there is NOTHING like the tast of fresh!! It is not as expensive as the store bought (stale taste), and we support our friends, family and nieghbors and environment!! You can help by buying local, buy fresh, there are now some local meat product in our area which is great!! It makes sense, saves you money, and Supports The People That Feed American!! Farmers have great respect for the earth, provide our food and work harder than any political "piss ant" that tries to shut them down. THANK YOU FARMERS!!!!
JPin Mass.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 11:56:52 AM 
Family farmers grow good food that is good for you. Thank you family farmers!
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 12:08:26 PM 
I'm thankful for local family farms. It is better for the local economy and the produce is fresher. One example is the milk that I purchase, in my opinion it is healthier because there are no bovine steroids.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

God Bless the United States of America
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 12:15:04 PM 

Thank you Family Farmers, for getting between me and factory farms, and working for a healthy planet. I SUPPORT YOU

MaryEl O., Chicago
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 12:49:11 PM 
I am thankful for farmers taking a stand and making the sacrifice to stick it out and not following the next big trend.

Happy Holidays, and may God bless all the hard work and effort that is put forth in saving our heritage.

Mary G.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 12:58:46 PM 
I am thankful for my family. Over three generations of family farmers and still going strong. Although, I have moved from home to attend college and no longer work on my parents farm, I still appreciate and respect everything they and ALL of the family farmers do.

God Bless the farmers, and those who support.

Jessica, Lowville NY
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 1:07:40 PM 
I'm thankful for the Buckner's of Northern Colorado who sell me fresh vegetables and let me hunt pheasant on their land every fall; this year was the first year hunting for my son and while we bagged none, he had a good look at a big rooster. It was a fine day on the high plains, blue sky, golden pastures and the majestic white-capped rockies off in the distance. We sat on the porch at Sundown drank cold well water and played guitars -- jamming to the country, and to the west. Tipped out hats to Neil Young, Willie Nelson and of course Bob Dylan, for his suggestion. Randy Jerome, Highlands Ranch, CO
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 1:12:26 PM 
I am thankful for farmers that make honest work efforts and being good examples of people that work hard for what they earn. Our country and world wouldn't be able to support the number of people we have except for the hard work farmers do. Thank you for working long hours, working through good and bad weather, and the boring work that you do to provide food for us.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 1:28:04 PM 
Scott Tisthammer
C R England broker

If I knew you only went with the first 1000 I would have sent the last part of my smessage first.

If you want help just get back to me, you are more like the government that screwed US all, you first, & you can't see it? Look at what you do, waste & beg never accomplish crap unless someone is willing to hand you something for nothing.

I contacted you & never geta resposne just like government, tell you anything?
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 2:03:23 PM 
I am thankful for family farmers because I know how hard they work everyday do provide for their own families as well as provide the rest of us with quality food for our families.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 2:25:35 PM 
Thank you family farmers for giving me a great place to grow up, and a place to keep dreaming of returning to someday. My parents were gardeners, but not farmers. We rented a farmhouse, the owners and their children and grandkids lived both ways down the road. It was a dairy and corn/soy farm in Ohio. I could hear the cows getting milked in the morning and pet them over the fence. I could run and play in the corn fields and was welcome in barns. The farmers in tractors would wave as they drove by the house. Later, the farmer's kids got married and wanted to live there themselves, so we had to move. But it was a great place to grow up, and a dream I have for my own family someday.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 2:53:14 PM 
I am thankful there are still people who are willing to work hard doing something right--growing good, healthy food--because it is the right thing to do, not because it will make them rich in monetary terms, but rich in self respect.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 3:06:17 PM 
Gary L Johnson - Raymond, Washington

I,m thankful in many ways for local Farmers. Their crops keep us healthy and strong to do Gods work. I'm thankful for their long hours in the field. I'm thankful we feed people around the world. God Bless them and their work. Its good to be born in the USA!
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 3:20:57 PM 
I do all my shopping at my local farmers market and will always continue to do so I find it economical and a great way to eat a variety of healthy year around variety of fruits and vegetables. We also have some great meat markets and I only go to a grocery store for paper products. Long live the local farmer.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 3:47:57 PM 
Many thanks to all of our local growers and markets. We make a difference by being patrons of our neighbors, this helps build community, common unity.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 4:08:52 PM 
There once was a time that the family farmer was the backbone of our country. It was a wholesome way of life, farming communities were everywhere, neat county fares, quilting bees, pie contest. It's nothing like it use to be homegrown food around every corner at prices that you could afford. However I'm thankful for the ones that have stuck it out against terrible odds and are trying to hold onto that what is good. God Bless the American Farmer and God Bless everybody that is supporting them. I hope things get much better and more people come forth to help in the new year that is approaching.

Farm Children were much better looking than the ones today with their pants hanging below their bottoms...lol!

Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 4:10:56 PM 
I'm thankful for many reasons. one of which is that they do care for the land better than big commercial farming.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 4:25:15 PM 
I'm thankful for family farmers because I like knowing where my food comes from and that love goes into everything on my plate!! Thank you family farmers!!
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 5:14:06 PM 
I'm extremely thankful for family farmers because I believe that the human race couldn't survive without them. Literally. I've learned enough about factory/industrialized farming to know that what comes out of those places isn't fit for a cockroach to eat. Pure poison at it's best.
The family farmers provide us with healthy nutrition and know right from wrong.
In today's society, enough said.
May Yahuwah the Creator, bless and keep the family farmers.

Kathy G. - Madison,WI
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 5:38:29 PM 
There was a time when damn near everyone in the nation was a family farmer in some way shape or form. Everybody grew something good. This created great community connectivity and family unity---values that got run over by "bad progress". Progress is good only if it preserves existing good. Sure, we're all thankful for the hard won fruits of the family farm. But, to truly show thanks, we need fight for the family farmer today! Support family farms in any way possible. Don't sit idle, see what you can do, before it's to late for our children and their children. It's preservation of our Nation! Steve W. Southwest Indiana
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 5:50:19 PM 
I am thankful to family farmers for holding on to their farms. I know it has been tough for them. I grew up on a farm in Vernon, NY and I know what it was like. But I have to say that there nothing better than fresh produce right from farm itself. My father was one of the poor souls that had to sell his farm back in 1992. To all the farmers out there don't give up. I buy as much as I can from my local farmer.

Sheila - Rome, NY
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 6:49:38 PM 
In the early 80's I was a "back to the lander", purchased acreage, designed and built a passive solar house, grew our own food organically, and swapped fresh veggies for milk and butter with the dairy farm down the road. Divorce broke up that way of life. The family farm offers not only the freshest and best food available without paying for foreign oil to transport food that is not yet ripe, but also provides food for the soul to those who practice it by being close to nature and healthier living by actually working one's body. I am extremely grateful to those who have perservered in this hard but rewarding work, and support local farming by buying local. I am starting a sustainable farm in 2010, so will be re-joining those among the ranks of family farms. We as a nation must get back to being self sufficient and actually producing something. The family farm is a model of what works despite the road blocks put in place by the big money men who only measure the bottom line and not
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 6:53:33 PM 
6:49:38 PM Continued

( and not )the value to humanity. Catherine - Virginia
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 7:17:39 PM 
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 9:19:44 PM 
Many blessings and thanks to all of the family farmers. This summer I was able to go just up the road and buy amazing lettuce and green beans and corn and tomatos and apples (and blueberries from our own bushes as well.) This was especially wonderful as a family member is extremely sensitive to preservatives put on 'store produce.' We were able to make salads and serve vegetables that we never had to worry about and which were so much more tasty because they didn't have to go even two miles to our table. Long live our family farms.
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:42:23 PM 
Lee Garner, from upstate New York
Hey, I am a family farmer, in my roots! Actually, I love living in the big city, but who I AM am is because I grew up on the family farm, which we still have. Wouldn't've had it any different!! Here in Philadelphia, we walk to Clark Park twice a week and buy fresh produce from the family farmers who drive from before dawn to offer us wonderful organic goods. Thank you!
Anonymous @ 11/21/2009 10:50:18 PM 
I am extremely grateful for family farmers because farmers market healthy year around variety of fruits and vegetables. And I am thankful for the good farmers who return the natural nutrients back into our precious soil. God Bless the American Farmer
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 3:45:37 AM 
Thank you family farmers for keeping me healthy and connecting me to my community - and thank you for all your hard work and dedication.
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 7:27:40 AM 
I am thankful to family farmers for all the hard work and effort they put into growing healthy fruits and vegetables for my family and friends. I hope God will richly bless them one and all!!!!

South Carolina
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 8:08:06 AM 
I am thankful for our family farmers for all the hard work, dedication to providing us with real, healthy food. God Bless you all!!!
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 11:45:05 AM 
I am grateful that there are still families that work the land in the great American tradition. I am thankful that these agricultural entrepreneurs still grow food on precious parcels of land, and that they are the Davids to the corporate farms' Goliath. Thank you for caring about feeding the people and continuing our great heritage of family farms. May you bless the land as the land blesses you.
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 12:05:43 PM 
I come from a long line of Family Farmers dating back to the begining of this Country. It's something that is in my blood. As a kid in the 1960's, I spent some time on the Family Farms. I will never forget those experiences. My Mother grew up on a Family Farm from 1923 through 1940. They had no electric power or indoor plumbing. They worked the soil by hand, with horses and mules.
They did have some steam powered equipment. They cooked on a wood stove and stayed warm with the fireplace.
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 12:19:15 PM 
I,m thankfull for the freands&family talt me the vales of farming,like my grandfather farm his farm.jim,brookville Pa
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 12:39:24 PM 
I am thankful I married a farmer and learned the joys and pain of moving from the suburbs to the country. I know the value of hard, honest work, love of the land and the animals, and the incredible number of skills needed to run a family farm. No one knows both how hard and how rewarding it is until you farm for yourself. Long live the family farm! Thank you, Scott.

--Cheryl in OH
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 1:08:35 PM 
Family farmers raise good food, seem to take good care of the land, likely have good values, help slow down urban sprawl....all decent things to be thankful for. Neil and all family farm supporters, I'm thankful for you all. It's a good vibe. Steve DeGrave, Palatine IL
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 3:25:42 PM 
I am so thankful that America still has some vestiges of family farms despite the destructive and evil work of Monsanto to eliminate them! Family farmers are America's heros! Thank you!
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 3:40:48 PM 
I'm thankful to a man who has a farm near Marblehead, OH. Two feral cats had borne litters in his barn. One of the kittens became tame and followed the farmer around his roadside stand. One day we stopped to buy produce and admired the red tabby kitten sleeping near the tomatoes. The farmer told us that it wasn't his cat but he hoped to find it a good home. It was the only tame kitten from the 2 litters. We not only bought tomatoes, peaches, corn but adopted a kitten that day. That was 7 years ago. The fruit and vegtables from this farm are wonderful. I am grateful for the best cat ever. I am grateful a busy famer took time to look out for a homeless kitten. I am grateful that Mr. Tracy found a home for Jack, my cat.
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 4:34:10 PM 
Joe,upstate N.Y. American family farmers.America's past,America's future.
Anonymous @ 11/22/2009 5:25:47 PM 
You keep caring, we'll keep caring! Thanks!!!!!!!!!! for all you do.

Arlene & Tom Scott
Anonymous @ 11/23/2009 5:46:18 AM 
Very simply said, "No Farms, No Food". I grew up on a farm watching my grandparents and parents work from early morning to late at night. Their work ethic was amazing. Many do not realize just how hard it is to cultivate and harvest crops. I'm fortunate to own two farms in Iowa and will continue to farm until the next generation takes over. Thanks to all the hard working farmers who provide for us!
Anonymous @ 11/23/2009 7:04:25 AM 
I am thankful to family farmers for being stewards of our land and for carrying on the rich tradition of agriculture. I am thankful that on the coldest of cold days you wake before dawn to tend your fields so we can have fresh and wholesome food to nourish us. I am thankful that in the face of ignorance and challenging weather and pests, you continue on, when I imagine it must be so hard--physically and spiritually. Thank you for your faith. We'll do our best not to let you down.
Anonymous @ 11/23/2009 7:22:25 AM 
My daddy and grandfather were farmers. They worked so hard to keep our family fed. Even while working other jobs. When it came time for harvest, it was daylight to well after dark. Unfortunately we are losing the family farms to big corporations and development. Sad to see. Happy Thanksgiving, and say a prayer for the farmers, who helped put your dinner on your table.,
Anonymous @ 11/23/2009 8:13:01 AM 
Family farming is one of the noblest of professions. They work the lamd, tend carefully to their animals and crops, and feed people. What could be more important? A heart-felt thanks to all family farmers and the work you do. In return, I pledge to work hard in every way I can find, to change the policies in our country to truly support what you do, instead of continuously putting barriers and struggle in your way. We have to talk to our legislators to let them know that supporting family farming is important to us and our country; and we must "vote with our pocketbook" by spending our money on food from local farms, and NOT on the practices that we don't want. That is what truly works.
In gratitude.
kathy m.
grosse pointe , mich.
Anonymous @ 11/23/2009 11:04:33 AM 
Family farmers are a true unique breed of their own. It is the farmer that Jesus Christ has planted his seed in to provide for the people. The diary farmer who gets up before dawn and makes sure the people in the US are given milk, butter etc. It is the farmers that make sure the livestock is fed in the right way to provide such wonderful meals at special times like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I say may God Bless these farmers each and every day in order to keep providing the US the food we all know and need. Thanks to each of you and yours for all you have provided.
Juanita McGaugh Nafus
Commerce, Texas
Anonymous @ 11/23/2009 6:59:09 PM 
Just reading the comments of everyone so far, you can see people who are out for their own agenda, people who are saying something they hope will make them seem important to others and finally people who just speak the truth of their lives. We all make our own lives and destiny and if you want to blame your failures on others, you are like millions of "take care of me" mentality people. John, Willie, and Neil (I really don't know Dave, but I assume he made his own life) did not wait for government to save them, they became who they were by themselves, just like most americans who WORK for a living. Make your choices in your local elections and towns, make YOUR LIFE! Betty in Ohio
Anonymous @ 11/23/2009 8:40:34 PM 
There is a farmer inside all of us. Growing in full bloom like a wide oak or laying sleeping like a seed waiting for the Spring rain and sunshine. Here is my voice added to yours askin that God bless us all with the awakening of the planted seed into a growing and bountyfull harvest.
Peter Zabriskie, Bloomington, Indiana
Anonymous @ 11/24/2009 1:21:07 AM 
Out here in the Hawaiian Islands there are multi-generational family farmers who still pass on their wisdom, expertise, dedicated work ethics, and LOVE for the process of just applying simple human efforts amidst the ongoing miraculous world of Mother Nature's clean food creation that has always been there for us to observe, learn from, and get nourished by..We buy all our greens, other veggies, fruits, sprouts, miraculously nutritious & healing native hawaiian foods like taro, at weekly local farmers markets. The experience of having THE person who nurtured and cared for these little miracles hand to you the fruits of his effort with pride, well that experience ALONE is worthy of many thanks. Reconnection to where we came from and where we SHOULD be heading back to is often the result of that simple experience especially for the many of us feeling trapped in the serious downslide to toxic living via the corporate chemicalization of THE WORLD, and the insidious artificial and arbitrar
Anonymous @ 11/24/2009 6:57:24 AM 
I am thankful for family farms and the families that run them because they offer such a wonderful educational experience for MY family - MY children to understand where their food comes from and how the earth, and the farm animals, should be raised. They teach an ethic that has been lost w/ large commercial factory farms.
K. Davis
Springfield, IL
Anonymous @ 11/24/2009 10:35:41 PM 
I am thankful for family farms and the families because they bring my family the freshest fruit, veggies, and meats to my home to keep me and my daughter healthy its organic and the way I beleave all are food sould come from and the way god intended it to be. I thank my local famers, Farmers market and all the farmes of the USA and there familys and all the hard work they do. You guys are the best. Thanks
Mike & Lyla
Anonymous @ 12/22/2009 12:46:47 AM 
Family farms Worldwide are under threat!

I am 4th generation farmer in the East of Australia and with Climate change and off farm greedy markets most like me are required to work away along with our Wives to pay the bills so we can sell our 60 tonnes of produce annually.

Neil Young is a legend and I have followed his work since 1971 to today, he would be wonderful to have on your team!

I am trying to save my farm and it's environment for the wider community // http://blackwillow.com.au have a look!

Good luck one and all // Neville NSW Australia.
Anonymous @ 12/26/2009 7:46:42 AM 
The food we have is nothing short of a miracle. How can we treat that like a commodity, churned out in lifeless bulk and shrink-wrapped beyond recognition?

I love family farms because they treasure the earth that grows things. They understand how precious it is. They bring me food that still has life in it, food that's so good I'm transformed when I eat it. They know that convenience has too high a cost so they work with, not against, the rhythms of nature. They remind me about everything that matters.

Thank you.

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