Thanksgiving is just a couple of weeks away, and in 2020 it may not seem like we have a lot to be thankful for. I admit that the last six months or so have been tough, and if you are watching the news it is hard to be very optimistic. However, I am really excited about this Thanksgiving, and all of us in agriculture should be, too.

Sure, we may not be able to have the large family reunions and dinners we are all used to. Let us not focus on the negative, instead we need to be reminded of all that we have and just how great our nation is. Never forget that we live in the greatest nation and our freedoms and rights are the envy of the rest of the world. That, my friends, all starts with us as farmers and ranchers, and we should be proud of that fact. More importantly, we need to celebrate it this Thanksgiving.

As farmers and ranchers, we are part of the foundation of our United States of America. The Pilgrims recognized that. Without an abundant, safe, wholesome food supply it is hard to build a nation, much less one as great as ours. In the middle of the worst pandemic most of us have ever seen, our grocery store shelves remained stocked. There might have been a few things that were harder to find, but consumers could still go into the store and find food to sustain themselves and their families. I would dare even say they had plenty of variety.

Those of us in agriculture are so good at what we do we can function with less than 2 percent of the population involved in growing the food and fiber. That allows the other 98 percent of the population to grow our economy and provide services to give us the lifestyle we are all accustomed to. We do not just feed our people; we grow enough to share with the rest of the world by utilizing technology we have developed.

This Thanksgiving all of us in the United States need to look at all we have been given and be thankful. Without a doubt that includes our great system of agricultural production. We must also not take all these blessings for granted. I hope this Thanksgiving will be a time the rest of the population realizes just how good they have it, and that is due in large part to all of us who farm and ranch.

We may have seen some dark days, and there probably are more ahead of us. However, we can all rest assured that the store shelves will be stocked and there will be plenty of food for Thanksgiving, no matter how many are gathered around our table. We all have so much to be thankful for and that is something we should not forget.