Essential, what does that mean? Well according to Webster, essential is defined as “of the utmost importance: basic, indispensable, necessary”, but what does it mean to most? As we have continued to ride the COVID-19 wave, (whether we agree with it or not) there has been so much focus on what is essential and what is not, and yet so many fail to recognize THE essential industry in the nation, AGRICULTURE.
As I manage social media, listen to the radio and turn the TV on every night, everyone is thanking the medical field, emergency responders and grocery workers for all that they are doing to help thru this so-called pandemic, but yet I have not seen or heard anything specific to agriculture from anyone other than those in ag. I mean no ill will towards those constantly praised, as I understand that they are a vital part, however I am frustrated beyond belief that like water, people forget that agriculture is the root of all existence.
Without agriculture we would have no food, no clothes, no grocery stores, no medicine, etc., but how do we get people to realize that? I am not saying we need a pat on the back, but some recognition would go a long way towards easing the everyday struggles faced by farmers and ranchers. If people truly understood how “essential” agriculture was, maybe they would lighten up on the red tape. And although I realize every industry has red tape and an enemy or two, other industries manage to continue to be profitable, while being efficient and able to fight their battles, as agriculture struggles to do those things.
During this time of crisis, I tend to think agriculture has taken one of the largest economical hits. Yes I know places like Disneyland are losing $6 million a day, sports and entertainment are down billions, and unemployment is at an all time high, while ag continues to operate, but despite the operation most market prices are in the tank, red tape continues to roll out, and commodities are being disposed of. Yet, when I go to the grocery store, fresh produce is stocked (although most of it is from a foreign country) meat and milk shelves are looking light, and canned food shelves are cleared out, but prices are up, and that additional consumer cost is not being passed down to the producer.
So, as the COVID-19 crisis continues, we really need to do more to help people understand why agriculture is essential. I do not know what other industry is as important to human life as agriculture is. Agriculture is a basic, indispensable and necessary requirement to live. Wait, did I just define agriculture as essential according to the dictionary? Maybe Webster should add the word agriculture to its definition…
Ok I’ll get off my rant now and turn to a different topic. As many are aware fairs across the state and nation are being cancelled including our very own Chowchilla Fair. Unfortunately, the Chowchilla Fair exhibitors were impacted a little more than most because no options were given to them to help with their market animals, so MCFB partnered with Producers Livestock and stepped up to create a market support program to help the kids out. We are currently taking donations that will be evenly divided amongst all program participants, we have arranged for a “live” livestock sale, and we will be taking bump bids for individual program participants. 100% of the proceeds will go to the kids.
The livestock sale will be on May 19th and May 21st. Hogs and steers will be sold on the 19th, and lambs and goats will be sold on the 21st. So, if you need some meat in your freezer and want to help support the kids please consider participating in our program. Keeping in mind buyers are required to register prior to the sale, and we are accommodating those that may not want to appear in person by allowing for designated bidding. More information and specifics can be found on our website or you can call us, and we would be happy to fill you in.