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March 24, 2013
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier

National Agriculture Day is March 19 this year. The senate and the house approved a joint resolution proclaiming the day as an official national observance for agriculture. This day was initiated in 1973 by several agriculture publications, organizations and companies and was made a official observance in 1981. Such a day is important if it is only to increase public awareness of all those who work in agricultural jobs. Agriculture is a honorable profession and all of us should salute those farmers every day. "Generations Nourishing Generations," is the theme for this year's Ag. Day. Our nation's farmers work hard to provide food and clothing for our country and the world.

Farming is a way of life that involves sacrifice, dedication and hard work. I didn't grow up on a farm, but my husband tells me at the end of a day, you were tired. Getting up early and working hard until sundown is not something that comes naturally, rather it usually is learned-a lesson learned from his parents and grandparents and I hope some of this has been instilled in our children. The sacrifices and work ethic you learned while you were young continues as you grow older. If you are a farmer you quickly learn there are long hours, hard work and risks associated with farming.

Only one of our sons farm, but he left an engineering job after 22 yeas because he knew he would rather be farming. His brothers are supportive and are successful in what they do and are the first to say growing up on a farm gave them the work ethic they have today. What surprises them now is so many farmers work day and night, a necessities when you farm a lot of land. It is almost impossible for a young farmer to get started without help from family. I'm sure most of us at a certain age thought we'd ever see millionaire farmers, but that is time that is here to stay. The bright spot farming does create stability and economic growth; agriculture does provide jobs and income for both rural and urban families and communities.

Farmers are known as being great eaters and if you'd ask them I'm sure it would be "meat and potatoes."


3 to 4-lb. beef roast

salt and meat tenderizer

to taste

2 10-3/4 cans golden

mushroom soup, divided

1-1/2 pkg. onion soup


3-1/4 cup water, divided

5 to 6 potatoes, peeled

and cubed

16-oz. pkg. baby carrots

1 to 2 onions, sliced

Place roast in a roasting pan; sprinkle with salt and meat tenderizer to taste. Stir together one can mushroom soup, onion soup mix and water; pour over roast. Add additional water, if necessary, cover roast and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Add remaining can of soup and vegetables to pan. Bake an additional 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Serves 6 to 8.

"We should thank a farmer today and every day."



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