This week, millions of Americans will gather around dinner tables with their families and friends to celebrate all the things for which they are grateful. And, as Americans, we have a lot to be grateful for, don’t we?
It’s likely that all of the food on your table this Thanksgiving was fairly easy to come by. The head chef of your holiday feast probably drove a short distance to the nearest grocery store to find the turkey, ham, potatoes, cranberries, green beans, corn meal, milk, pumpkin and other goods used to prepare your meal.
The fact that such a diverse array of foods is so readily available to you, and at affordable prices, is nothing short of a miracle. And for this miracle, you have America’s farmers and agriculturists to thank.
Millions of people in this world aren’t as fortunate. There are many countries that do not have an abundance of natural resources, a temperate climate or an infrastructure which would allow them to produce a surplus of food. In these countries, stopping by the nearest grocery store and choosing from among thousands of affordable food products is not an option. Finding and producing enough food to feed a family is a daily struggle.
Even here, in our land of plenty, there are many families who don’t have easy access to enough healthy, nutritious food. Some don’t have the money to purchase the food they need. Some don’t have reliable transportation to and from a grocery store. Many lack both income and transportation.
As aspiring farmers, scientists and business leaders, FFA members are poised to take on these food supply challenges in the coming decades. As the world’s population grows toward an expected 9 billion people by 2050, new agricultural technologies, farming techniques and food distribution methods will need to be developed in order to prevent widespread famine and starvation.
We encourage all FFA members to study hard and to apply the skills and knowledge they’re developing today to serving others tomorrow. Our livelihood is dependent upon our food supply, and in the years to come, our food supply may very well be dependent upon you.
Here at the National FFA Organization we’re thankful for today’s farmers. We’re thankful for all of the farmers who came before them and taught them well. And, we’re thankful for all of our future farmers, who will ensure a brighter tomorrow for us all.
Have a safe and happy Thankgiving, everyone!