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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Mar 16, 2012

I enjoy hearing how farmers are feeding the world, and it is good to be recognized that what farmers do is important here and many more places. But it takes more than just farmers to accomplish this.

The best place to see what an amazing job our food producing industry does is at any grocery store. That is where everyone’s efforts are realized and displayed.

The first thing that can be seen looking at what is available throughout any grocery store is how our food is cheap and abundant.

My corn and soybeans end up in the meat case and in boxes of food on shelves. Other farmers can claim the results of their work are in the dairy section or the produce that fills bins and shelves.

I can enjoy oranges and apples, potatoes and tomatoes anytime of year because of our food industry.

Grapefruit are a big favorite of mine along with fresh pineapple.

Everything you want is available, even those things you may not have a taste for such as Brussels sprouts, spinach or kohlrabi are there in case you change your mind.

There is even a choice in the individual items such as yellow or white onions, red or green peppers, medium or dark roast coffee, the choices within a specific food are numerous.

The only choice you have to make at a grocery store is how many of what you are looking for do you want.

All these things are available at your convenience, no need to schedule an appointment. Drive in, park and walk in any store to where a cart is waiting and then shop at your pace.

I like to show up with a list while my wife knows what she needs in her mind, but enjoys looking at what is displayed for inspiration.

My grocery store trips are hurried while hers are more leisurely.

Farmers can not take all the credit for what happens at any grocery store.

There are many people responsible so that box of cereal or container of frozen orange juice can occupy a shelf or be kept in the refrigerated section waiting for a shopper to purchase them.

Just as amazing are the people whose job it is to process and move the items sold by the food producer to get them to the market.

As far as I am concerned, whether it is a meat packer turning livestock into cuts of meat or a truck driver backing up to the loading dock, they can all take credit along side the farmer for feeding a hungry nation and the world.

Then there are the people whose job it is to supply the farmer with what he needs to grow those things destined for the grocery store.

Seed and fertilizer along with the machinery and diesel fuel to run the machinery are part of making all this possible so we can keep our refrigerators and cupboards at home stocked with what we like to eat.

These things happen out of our view and it seems to be without effort as we look down the aisles and aisles of choices we make as we push our cart. But it does take effort and it does not happen easily.

It happens because people show up for work everyday and decisions are made to get the most done for least expense.

Grocery stores are a testament to the efficiency and planning of an entire industry that gets up everyday and goes to work.

It is a lot of growing, processing, transporting and promoting and it all comes together at any grocery store you see.

What an amazing place.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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