Typically, those of us in the agriculture industry associate the Fourth of July with the old saying that corn should be knee high and livestock producers are elated with the amount of meat consumers purchase for grilling.
However, this year, the focus seems to be more on the fact that corn in most parts of the country will not be knee high; in fact, due to wet conditions, some of it didn’t even get planted. Then throw the alternative protein craze and animal welfare headlines on top of it and livestock producers are feeling wrath like never before.
With all that in mind, I wanted to share something with our readers that I experienced last weekend that reminded me how lucky I feel to be a part of the agriculture industry.
My family has been involved in showing livestock -- predominately cattle, but we have dabbled in other species -- for more than three generations. While attending a cattle show, everyone stopped in their tracks and removed their hats to stand for the national anthem sang by a youth member of the show. People walking and talking stopped in the middle of the sidewalks, roads and barns to pay tribute.
Once our cattle were ready to go to the show ring, I noticed a group of about 15 to 20 police officers sitting in the stands. They were there to support youths in general, but specifically a young girl from Texas whose father was killed in the line of duty. A moment of recognition was taken to thank them for all they do.
When the young girl was finished showing her heifer, they all met her outside for a warm greeting and photo opportunity. When her mom started crying, most of us watching did too.
The world could use more agricultural involvement and knowledge about products in a time where consumers are being influenced by everyone but the farmer, who is having to work harder than ever before.
I also personally feel that there should be more appreciation for our nation and those that keep us safe, like what was seen at last weekend's cattle show.
This Fourth of July, despite the hard spring planting and horrible headlines about livestock, I’m proud to be a part of the bigger picture: one that allows me to witness such patriotism and compassion for others.