Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, the day we turn our attention and social consciousness toward the many issues that face our planet. Students will take a few moments to pick up litter scattered around their school grounds, adults will make short-lived pledges to themselves to live more eco-friendly, and buzzwords like "green", "carbon footprint", "climate change", and "sustainability" will be thrown out by every pundit with a platform from which to preach. And while designating April 22nd as Earth Day may be necessary to bring about a heightened public awareness to our home planet's health, there's at least one group that celebrates the spirit of Earth Day every day...America's farming families.

Agriculture has been and always will be linked directly to our environment. Those of us who raise our nation's food and fiber continually refine our farming methods to grow our crops and livestock more efficiently. This commitment results in the increased conservation of soil, water, and fossil fuels, thereby preserving our precious natural resources for years to come. We have a responsibility to balance the nutritional needs of a growing global population with the needs of our sensitive environment, and we are able to do both without sacrificing one for the other. We continue to protect and improve the quality of our soil, water, and air, develop agri-based alternative energy solutions, and find more ways to productively process our livestock and crop residues. These issues aren't just important to our financial bottom line, beacuse the bottom line is that environmental stewardship is critically important to the health and well-being of both our own families and the public we serve.

So as you celebrate Earth Day and do your part to "save the planet", take time to thank conservationalists, environmentalists, and sustainability experts for all the contributions they are making to keep the Earth healthy and viable for generations to come. And can thank all three by thanking a farmer!

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