Our hands are often weathered, cracked, and dirty. We like to think we can fix just about anything and we always seem to have the right tool conveniently tucked in our back pocket. We work long hours in the hot and cold just so they can go to bed and do it all again the next day with a smile on their faces.

While this description can and does apply to many hard working men and women across the country, we are the less than one percent of Americans who work to put food on the tables of families down the road and around the world. We’re American farmers and ranchers.

Today is Thanksgiving, so we thought we would take the opportunity to express our gratitude on behalf of our fellow farmers and ranchers.Nebraska Corn Harvest

So, thank you. Thank you for your trust. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to do exactly the thing we were called to do each and every day.

Thank you for letting us into your homes. Thank you for the space at your family’s table. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of countless special moments and for the ones we’ll share together in the future.

Although we have some distinct differences, we’re more alike than you may realize. We are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and best friends, just like you. We are readers of bedtime stories and foremen for fort building expeditions. We’re cooks, cleaning crews, and chauffeurs. We share many of the same passions and hobbies.

We get up each day, some of us in a perpetual struggle to get the kids to school, and we go to work. The only difference is that our job is raising the food, fiber and fuel that keep this country going.

We love what we do, and we are grateful for the opportunity to do it. We know we are blessed to make our living off the land, and we are doing our very best to ensure that our children, and their children, and their children’s children will have the opportunity to do the same if they so choose. Farming is a family enterprise. In fact, 98 percent of farms are run by hard-working families, families just like yours.

We feel lucky to live and work in a state where one in three jobs is tied directly to agriculture. We appreciate your support.

Along with our gratitude, there are a few more things we’d like you to know. Namely, safety is a major concern. We understand the important role we play in putting food on your table, and we don’t want to do anything to damage or undermine the level of trust you place in us. Agriculture has strict guidelines in place that help ensure that we are producing the safest food in the world. But it doesn’t stop there; we are continually working to improve practices so we can do more with fewer inputs – such as pesticides, fertilizers, and water – to produce a safe, nutritious food supply.

We recognize that food is a hot topic nowadays, and we encourage you to join the conversation. If you have a question about your food or how it’s raised, ask a farmer, because there is no one more directly involved in the process.

As you gather around the dinner table this Thanksgiving, we invite you to take a moment to think about the men and women who worked to produce the food you are about to enjoy. We want you to know that families just like yours are gathering all around rural America to do the same thing – to give thanks. So please join us in celebrating all we have to be thankful for, because where there is food, there is family, and friends, and good times to be had.

Although we won’t be there to celebrate with you this Thanksgiving, we wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Thank you for your trust and support. We know that if we work together we can make farming and ranching something we can all be proud of.

From our families to yours, have a blessed Thanksgiving.

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