Committee reminds public to value farmers

Published 1:34 pm Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Without farmers, where would we be?

That’s the question posed by Charlene Powell, chairperson of the Butler County Farmers Federation Women’s Committee. The group is seeking to raise awareness of local farmers’ contributions to the community and bring their stories to the public eye.

“Farmers bring or supply our food and so much more, that many take for granted in our everyday life. Today, many children, and even some adults, think we can just go to a store and buy it,” Powell said.

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“There are those who assume a brown cow will produce “brown” chocolate milk. On the surface, it seems funny, but in reality, it’s pretty sad.”

While it is quite easy for consumers to go to a supermarket and buy fruits, veggies, milk and other commodities, “there is much more to it than that,” Powell said.

“Our children need to know how foods get to their table. Farmers pour sweat, blood and probably a few tears, over the crops they grow and the commodities of their farm.”

She wants people to realize farming is a “24-7” job every month of the year.

“It may be hot, sweaty and far from glamorous; one thing is for certain, farming provides food, clothing, shelter and more for each of us,” Powell said.

“There is no real vacation time for the farmer. They are on the job no matter what the weather.”

Powell describes the farming life as being like a utility company. “If there is trouble and a storm arises, farmers are out there in the midst of it,” she said.

“Animals have to be fed and cared for, no matter what. The work goes on in spite of heart, rain, snow, sleet or hail.”

Temperature extremes and too much or two little water can have devastating effects on farmers.

“There are many things they cannot control. Farming is not an easy way of life – but it definitely one that benefits all of us,” Powell added.

Over the next few months, the BCFFWC plans to introduce readers to the stories of some of Butler County’s farmers.

“We also encourage you to thank a farmer for all the hard work,” Powell said.