Having grown up in an agricultural family, I learned early on that this business wasn’t for the faint of heart. As you well know, it is a business that endures through various challenges ranging in scope from economic and environmental to weather.

Those who are not familiar with this way of life cannot understand the demands that are placed on you, the producers, on a daily basis. Many take for granted the fact that the grocery store shelves are stocked; without thought or regard for where the food actually comes from, or for the efforts and sacrifices you put forth to ensure this to be so. Nor do many understand the risks you face each and every year including weather and the volatile market prices for your products. Not to mention that you expend, and risk, an enormous amount of capital each year to run your operation in hopes of earning a return, both of and on, your capital.

I don’t know that we can blame them; they simply do not know any different because the shelves have always been, and will continue to be, stocked. You’ve never given them a reason to question its origin or supply. On one hand, this is a glowing tribute to the American farmer and rancher. On the other hand, it is sad that we have not done a better job of informing the masses of what it takes to succeed in agriculture. But that is another story.

It takes a strong work ethic, an iron will and an unending amount of faith to make agriculture your chosen profession. Of course, I believe that most producers did not actually choose agriculture, it chose them. It is a powerful and noble calling and a great way of life, despite the challenges.

Many years ago in this column, I used a quote from William Goldman that said in part “if it were easy, everyone would do it.” Mr. Goldman was referring to writing, but it definitely applies to the business of agriculture as well.

We at Premier Farm Credit know the efforts you put forth and the sacrifices you make to ensure a safe and plentiful food supply for Americans and countless others throughout the world. And we know it is not easy.

For all that you do, we want you to know that we are so very grateful that you answered your calling.