Special farm aid

Sunday, July 20, 2008

There are many state and federal government programs set up to aid farmers, who continue to supply the nation's food and fiber needs while maintaining high quality and abundance. But there is one aspect of a farmer's life that doesn't get any government help: the spiritual side.

Mary Myers of Sikeston, Mo., recognized this lack during the mid-1980s when farmers were burdened with the vagaries of farming plus a severe drought in the South and soaring interest rates. Mary's husband, Peter Myers, was acutely familiar with the farmers' struggles, since he himself was a farmer and served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Reagan administration.

Out of the Myerses' concern and organizational skills came the formation of Adopt a Farm Family of America, a national organization that provides spiritual support and encouragement to farm families across the nation.

The organization still operates out of the Myerses' home in Sikeston with financial support from churches, businesses and individuals. The organization also publishes a newsletter, The Sower.

The organization is marking its 20th anniversary this year. It continues to provide words of encouragement and other resources to struggling farm families. Doing God's work among those who toil to provide so much to the rest of us is a noble effort.

Hundreds of farmers and their families owe a considerable debt of gratitude to the Myerses for their unstinting efforts.

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