Every life experience gives you a new perspective. Something as little as getting a new pair of shoes to a major experience like having a relative beat cancer, there are always things you will look at differently when you undergo new steps in your life. My most recent life experience has been an internship at Cape Fear Farm Credit. Although I grew up involved in agriculture, this internship reminded me of the important relationship between consumers and the agricultural industry.
Agriculture is intertwined in our daily lives. When we get dressed in the morning I challenge you to see (and thank) the farmer who grew cotton which was made into our clothes. When you go lunch, I hope you smile when you visit the restaurant with a “Got to be NC” sticker on the front door. When you scroll through Instagram and “like” a friend’s photo of her in a sunflower field, I task you to see the farmer who planted those sunflowers for other’s enjoyment. These daily events are a constant reminder for our need for farmers and agriculture.
What is so amazing about agriculture is how many jobs it provides. With each end product, the jobs and individuals involved is monumental. For example, let’s cook bacon and eggs for breakfast. Not only are we supporting the farmers who cared for the pigs and chickens but we are also supporting the truck driving industry as eggs and hogs were transported throughout the process. We’re supporting the workers within each production facility and the grocery store employees that stocked the shelves and sold the product. If we extended the connection further, we could identify the engineers that designed the processes, equipment dealers for the farmer, the lenders who financed the farming operations and more.
As a consumer, we need to appreciate the relationship between farmers and consumers. Agriculture is one of the pillars of the American economy and even if we don’t see a farmer each day, I encourage consumers to understand how their lives are connected with agriculture. And as always, don’t forget to thank a farmer.
Kendal Williams, 2018 Cape Fear Farm Credit Intern