April 22nd is Earth Day. Having lived on a farm nearly all of my life, I feel a strong connection to nature on a daily basis. Whether it’s the spectacular sunrises and sunsets of the Great Plains, the landscapes that change with the seasons, acres of healthy growing crops, cattle grazing in the pasture or the red-tailed hawks flying overhead – there’s always something beautiful to be discovered.
As we fill our planet with more people, the impact of human activity becomes more pronounced.
There’s more than just beauty to be considered, there’s the preservation and improvement of resources like soil and water. I think we all share a goal of being able to feed everyone in a way that leaves the environment in as good of condition – or better – than we found it.
Farmers innately recognize their role as stewards of precious natural resources. Over the generations, we’ve learned what practices work best in meeting goals of conservation while supplying everyone with food and other necessary products derived from agriculture. Innovation and technology in agriculture have provided us with new tools and information on the way to reaching these goals. We’re constantly identifying our challenges, and working toward new ways with new tools to overcome them.
I’ve heard it said many times, “We have to take care of our land and livestock if we want them to take care of us.” When farming is your livelihood, it’s evident that caring for the earth goes hand in hand with providing for your family.
What any given farmer does on their operation in terms of conservation and preservation is going to vary, just as soil types and annual rainfall amounts fluctuate. Farmers tailor their efforts to the uniqueness of their location. However those efforts are modified, the attitude among farmers is constant. We all enjoy the process of nurturing living things, whether it’s a garden in the backyard or a cornfield across the road.
Not only do agricultural practices vary across a single state, they vary across the world. I’m grateful to live and farm in a place where water is respected for the treasure that it is. I’m excited to see modern practices and technology that cooperate with a climate to improve the soil. I’m thrilled to see farmers and consumers reaching out to talk to each other directly about these realities.
Here’s a few ways we actively care for our environment on our farm every day of the year:
The combination of science and technology working with the strong roots of tradition, hard-working values, and a sense of family and community help us in our aim to take care of everyone and everything around us. It’s not a perfect process and new issues will always arise as time goes on, but looking ahead, our best possible path is solving these problems with every means available whether it’s innovative technology, traditional methods, or a common sense combination of both.
At the end of the day, we’re really on the same page. Wherever we are, we can all seek ways to make a positive impact on the planet we all share.