Celebrating the Diversity and Holiness of Agriculture

Celebrating the Diversity and Holiness of Agriculture

The natural world is full of wonder. Built into the design of creation is mystery and wonder and a reliance on the Creator to keep it all going. Several weeks ago I found myself walking on a mile-long lava flow in Eastern Oregon. I sat on top of a chunk of obsidian, lava so superheated it turned to glass. Looking out over the flow and the dormant volcanoes beyond, I spotted a lone pine tree rooted onto a piece of lava rock in what looked like a soilless, waterless environment. I sat in wonder staring at this lone pine tree thriving on what little it had around it. I feel the same wonder when I look over farms across the world and around this country, even though I studied agriculture and all the science behind it. 

For as much as we can control where we place the inputs that we put on the plants or in the soil, we cannot command plants to grow, we cannot command snow to fall or rain to come down on our land. We are at the mercy of Creation. I think this may be why our first occupation was farming. Farming, working the soil, being stewards of productive earth brought us close to the Creator, brought us into a dependent relationship with the Creator of all things. Even now, despite all we have divined to decrease the risk of farming, farmers around the world continue to be the stewards of productive earth, continue to take risks on behalf of each of us who rely on the provision of daily bread. I am thankful for farmers, big and small, who grow the food that we eat. In my work I have the joy of meeting a diverse range of people. People who are passionate about the food they eat: meat and potatoes people, organic vegetable lovers, and everyone in between.

The beauty of it is, no matter what your food preference, we ALL rely on farmers and at some point all farmers rely on the Creator. From my vantage point, it is one beautifully, wondrously designed system of dependence that, if we look around, leaves us in awe and with the responsibility to steward the land and the resources, finite in their quantity, and the faith to plant year after year.

We must, at all costs, preserve the dignity of farmers. We rely on them for our very subsistence, and should remember to thank them. In times of drought, we should thank them even more: “Thanks for taking the risk to raise your family on the food production that raises mine.” There are a lot of occupations we could live without, but not this one.  There is a reason that humankind’s first job was farming. 

Have you thanked a farmer today?

By Angela Boss, FRB’s Associate Director of Program Development

08/23/2012 | Comments: 1 | Add Comment