March 28, 2014

National Ag Day: Change and appreciating my customers

I grew up on a family farm. Farming is in my genes and in my heart.

My father and grandfather purchased a 200-acre farm in 1949, and I am fortunate to be farming that farm today with my children and grandson. I hope someday my grandson will be farming with his children and grandchildren.

Our farm, as well as the farming industry in general has seen significant changes in the last 50 years. Change is a constant in farming. We must change with the technological advances, the niche markets that emerge, and with the public perception of our livelihood. I understand this week is supposed to celebrate farmers and what we do for the world, but most of us would not be able to farm without our customers.

I appreciate everyone who purchases a pound of sausage, a dozen eggs, a chuck roast, or a jar of pickles. I like to use this week (and every opportunity I have) to talk to the consumer about why I do what I do and how I do it to provide a quality product as efficiently as possible. My father was the best steward of the land that I know, and I hope to carry on that tradition at Sunny Acres. It is important to me that all consumers know their food is raised by people who care about the land, their animals and the families who purchase their products.

It is important that farmers tell their own stories and not let other groups tell the consumer what they think we do. National Ag Week is a great time for us to begin telling our stories whenever we can.

We need to show appreciation to our customers. I can raise cattle, hogs, and vegetables, but without customers to purchase these items, our farm would not be in business. So, thank you to all who visit our farm, support our booths at the local Farmers' Markets, and allow us to come to your school or festival to help tell our story about agriculture. We love what we do, but we love sharing it with you too!!

Happy National Ag Week!

Tommee Clark, Sunny Acres Farm, Jeffersontown, KY


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