A contributor to today’s Rants and Raves column notes that his visit to the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition was an enlightenment.
Indeed the Expo, among other things, is a tremendous classroom for those who have never had farming experiences.
Quite often we hear comments about this industry from people who may be basing their thoughts on a farm scene from 50 or 60 years ago.
But an in-depth view of this industry immediately alerts them to an old adage, “the old gray mule ain’t what she used to be.”
We sometimes hear a comment that “our kids can harvest those crops ... we don’t need the migrant workers.”
Have you ever walked into a 100-acre cabbage at dawn? Have you ever picked more than a bucket full of peppers? And do you know what a tractor or combine costs?
Lots of high tech equipment and an available work force are crucial to our county’s agricultural stability, especially as it relates to vegetable production.
The contributor to the Rants and Raves column said he/she walked away with a greater appreciation for the investment required to operate a farm. At the Expo, that’s a factor that stands out like a wart on the queen’s nose.
As we drive down our country roads, farming is all around us. We can see cotton, peanuts, livestock, grains of various varieties and forages.
But that view doesn’t begin to tell someone with no farming connections how complex and sometimes volatile this industry has become. If one is observant, the Expo can take him much closer to the intense realities.
If you’ve never visited the Expo, put it on your calendar for next October.
Applause to those who produce our food and fiber!