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The key to putting food on your table

The rains in Virginia let up for a few days and farmers were able to get back in their fields. That makes this the ideal time to give some thought to a key factor in putting food on your table. “Call it stick-to-itiveness, perseverance, whatever you like,” says Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, “but the quality that keeps farmers going, that keeps them putting food on your table is sometimes just pure stubbornness. It’s why they get up early, work seven days a week and often get up in the middle of the night to pull a calf or thaw a frozen water line and still say they love their work.”

Of course, it takes more than stubbornness to make a good farmer. Good farming is good science, but also good business. And one thing that really helps is the attitude that says “I won’t let this weather/these prices/those trade policies lick me.”

The good farmer is a little bit of a lot of professions: scientist, businessperson, weatherman, diagnostician, mechanic, inventor, marketer, emergency planner, humorist, financial analyst, legal specialist, amateur physician, handy man and so much more. The good farmer also has a ’tude, a way of looking at life that sees the problem but says, “Aw, how bad can it be?” and then fixes it – enough said.

So as you sit down to dinner this Agriculture Week, why not lift your glass in a Salute to Stick-To-Itiveness for those farmers who put food on your table day after day and year after year despite the weather, price drops, increased prices for seeds or fuel, labor shortages and changing public tastes.

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