What would you do if you grew up on a farm, went off to college, and your campus started adopting “Meatless Mondays” in its dining halls? Well let me tell you what Tera Black from the University of Florida did! She designated today, March 31st as “Thank a Farmer Thursday”.
Students on campuses across the nation will spread out to distribute fact sheets and brochures about how meat production—and all of agriculture—benefit our economy. They’ll provide food samples and pass out “Thank a Farmer” t-shirts. They also plan to have students sign large “thank you” cards to local farmers and ranchers. Isn’t that a cool idea?
“Hopefully, this will help students connect the food they eat and the clothes they wear to the people who provided them,” Tera said.
“I think it’s more of an ethical issue,” Tera explained. Rather than increasing students’ food choices, she says, “it takes away a choice.” After all, students can already order a veggie burger any day of the week if they want.
While the “meatless Monday” fad got the ball rolling for Tera and her agriculture classmates, she says “Thank a Farmer Thursday” will be a larger, ongoing endeavor to educate the public about agriculture’s importance to our food security and economy. The students have founded an organization they’re calling AgFACTS, Inc., to keep the effort going beyond March 31. AgFacts stands for “Agriculture: Feeding and Clothing Tomorrow’s Society.”
So today when you are putting on your clothes (yes, farmers grow fiber to produce clothes) and eating your breakfast, lunch and dinner, think of the farmer who has been working since long before sun-up and will continue to work long after sun-down to provide you with your food and fiber – and say THANKS!