Feb. 5 to 11 is Thank a Farmer Week. Those living in Southeast Missouri realize the importance of farming. Having local produce is a reward of its own, but the economic impact farmers and ranchers have on our economy is also significant.
Last Friday Dr. Jon Hagler, the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, was the speaker for the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce First Friday Coffee. Hagler said at the meeting that farming is Missouri's No. 1 industry and that to meet the food demand of the future the state cannot afford to lose any more farmland.
For many farmers in Missouri this past year has been a challenge, largely because of flooding and the subsequent breach of the Birds Point levee. Our hope is that the levees will be rebuilt at a level that can sustain high waters, protecting our food supply and the pocketbooks of farmers and non-farmers alike.
It's also important that we take time this week to tell children about the importance of farmers. Unfortunately, too many children think food starts at the grocery store and forget about the farmer's role in what food they eat.
We join the many others in thanking the area's farmers and ranchers. Your commitment to the industry is a benefit to all.