Thursday, August 04, 2005

Dear Trent,

I have just returned from on a 5 day vacation in some of the most beautiful lake and farmland in the USA, Pierz, Minnesota. As I drove around checking out the scenery I noticed something peculiar. The land was green, rich and beautiful. The rolling hills were surrounded by swamps and lakes and dominated the countryside. Tree's and wildlife flourished due to excellent farming practices. It was calm, quiet, and serene. However, this land was galacial and boulders that virtually blanketed the land had to be cleared. It was amazing!

However, while the land was breath taking, the conditions of many ( too many) of the barns and farm houses were in desperate need of repair. Paint was pealing, wood was rotting, gutters ( if they had them) were falling off. This was a common theme in the area. It occured to me that these farmers and dairymen understood that their life was connected to the cow, the corn and the land and it's ability to produce. They cared more about the land than their possessions. That made me feel good. I felt that somewhere in the world there was someone looking out for me.

Then questions ran through my mind as I drove...

If they were'nt looking out for others, why would they grow more than they need to sustain themselves?
Why try to make the extra buck when you forced to undersell in the first place?
If they are growing and selling this much food, how come they can't fix the farm? That bothered me.
Why do they do it?

I think it's because they care enough to take on the responsibility to feed everyone they can with the land they own. They receive little in return. However, they continue. I believe that makes farming the one of the most honorable professions in America. It ranks up there with protecting our nation from tyranny. The farmer rarely receives a word of thanks.

I just want to say to the farmer, rancher, cattlemen, dairymen etc, "Thank you for keeping me and my family fed and for the many hard hours of labor you put into providing food for my table."

In Pierz, a story was told of a single father who was trying to hold onto a farm. He was struggling with finances due to his wifes illness. Also because of that his farm fell into dis-repair because his children want nothing to do with farming. You hear about that all to often. However, you don't hear about the one young man who volenteered to help. The young man has a family of his own but cared enough to step up and try to help this man save his farm. It's a noble and honorable act rarely seen anymore. My hat is off to him.

Robert W Fasl

Single father of 2, head chef of the household, a man who likes to eat!