Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dear Editor

I have sent this in to our local paper...
Dear Editor:
I want to thank you for your article a few weeks back asking the question, “Have you thanked a farmer?” As the wife of a multi-generation American farmer, I can answer with a resounding, “YES!”

I would like to add another important question: “Have you considered the source of your food lately?” In America today, there is an increasing need for the provision of a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply. We have all seen the negative effects of outsourcing our food supply to other countries. We are beginning to realize that cheap food can come at a very high price. As conventional farmers, we sometimes find ourselves in heated discussions over organic food and fiber with the public. And while these issues are important to discuss, I would like to suggest that the more important issue facing consumers today is the proper labeling and knowledge of country of origin on our food and fiber products. I have recently begun to scour the labels and bottles of what I am taking off of the shelf to see if everything inside has come from the USA, or if anything has been imported. I was shocked to read what I did! China, Argentina, Chile, Brazil…. All were contributing countries to my bottle of apple juice and canned fruit for my kids. I was glad I looked.

Most people have no idea of the strict regulations and standards that are imposed on all America’s farms and ranches. Detailed documentation, inspections, and the requirement of licensure are all part of an American farmer’s operation. Our food supply is the safest one in the world because of it.

I appreciate the hard work, dedication, and pride that go into farming in America and believe it is worth its weight in gold. I fully trust the farmers and ranchers who have produced it and trust that the standards and regulations that they are held to will continue to supply us with a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply.

Tracie Fulford, Monticello

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