Shaking the hand that feeds us

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Why bother farming when we can all just get our food at the supermarket?

A Quincy resident heard that on the radio 37 years ago and it set him thinking: how do we show people the connection between the food they eat and the people who produce it? Today Quincy answers that question, as small towns are wont to do, with a community festival. Itís a doozy, too, with hot air balloons, bouncy house, face painting, a car show, a tractor pull and, of course, a parade. The festival is called Farmer-Consumer Awareness Day, which may be long for a local shindig but is an excellent description of its purpose.

Because underlying all the fun is the serious work of a farming community showing the world exactly what it does. One thing you can find in abundance at Farmer-Consumer Awareness Day is fresh produce, direct from the grower and ready for your table. Itís a chance for those of us who donít work the land for a living to see what farmers do, and how necessary they are.

Here in the Basin, most of us donít fall prey to the silly assumption that food magically appears on the store shelf. Farmland is all around us; you canít drive beyond the edge of town without passing by a field or having to go around a slow-moving piece of equipment. Still, itís a good idea from time to time for town-dwellers to reflect on the hard work and ingenuity that provide our most basic necessities.

So if you havenít been to Farmer-Consumer Awareness Day lately, head over to Quincy this Saturday and join the festivities. And while youíre there, thank a farmer.

ó Editorial Board

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