Our farmers areour neighbors, friends

“Our farmers deserve praise, not condemnation; and their efficiency should be cause for gratitude, not something for which they are penalized.” President John F. Kennedy made that in the early 1960s, standing up for the American farmer. His sentiment is as true today as it was then; in fact it’s been true since the beginning of time.

It is baffling that there are those who cannot see it, opting, instead, to look at farming through a narrow microscope, seeing perceived negatives even as they sit down at night to a table filled with the foods provided by those they wish to slap in the face.

With many Americans generations removed from the farm, it’s no wonder so much of the public is ignorant to what agriculture is truly all about. As long as they are able to buy food and it is plentiful, then how it arrives on their tables will be taken for granted, and be forgotten in the wars being waged against men and women trying to make an honest living and, at the same time, provide needed commodities to the masses.

In Sampson County, we understand agriculture and appreciate the men and women who make up our farming community. We are as grateful for their hard work as we are dependent upon it in many ways. And that is as it should be.

Whether farmers are providing pepper, cucumbers, soy beans, corn and cotton or producing pigs, chickens and turkeys, we understand first of all their dedication to the profession that, in many families, has been handed down for generations, and second of all their determination to put food on tables across this great country and beyond.

And we support all their efforts even as we thank them for all they do to help our economy here in Sampson and beyond.

That farmers are coming under attack is a testament to how society allows extremist views to overshadow the truth. While everyone is entitled to their opinion and the right of free speech is important and valued, it is when we turn free speech into vicious and often uneducated attacks that the very freedoms we hold so dear are turned on us.

Before you buy into the attacks that would have you believe farmers are vicious, animal-hating individuals who ignore regulations and serve only themselves, take a good, long look around at your neighbors and friends. These are the men and women who support our schools, who put food on our tables, who stand elbow-to-elbow with us as we raise money for cancer research, sick children, educational institutes and our fellow man. They are the individuals who sing beside us in church, who work sun up to sun down for an honest day’s wage, and who tirelessly work to uphold regulations that ensure safety for our families and communities.

That there are those out there determined to push them down and run them into bankruptcy is a horrible disservice to those who simply do not deserve the attacks being thrust upon them.

We take great pride in our farmers, are thankful for their contributions and appreciate them, knowing that the service they provide far outweighs the negativity being thrust upon them.