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Opinion | A tribute to Alabama farmers

It’s the only profession we need every day of our lives and the only one we must have to survive.

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Last week, a politician in our state implied some negative things about our state’s farmers. Imagine that, a politician throwing stones at another profession. Funny, isn’t it? And of all times, it happens to be National Farm to School Month – a time for educating our children about the importance of farming which in Alabama is tremendous economically speaking.

It doesn’t really matter who said what. That would only give credence to the person who said it. The question is how in the world can anyone disrespect the farming profession?

They feed us, they clothe us, they shelter us – all our basic needs are met because of farmers. There are 43,000 farms in Alabama and approximately one in every 4.5 jobs in our state is tied to agriculture and food production. In addition, I dare say there is a more honest, hard-working group of people in our state than our farmers.

I feel so convicted about this that I dove deep down into my treasure chest of old writings to dig out a tribute I wrote to farmers five years ago. I hope you enjoy it because after all, we all need farmers. It’s the only profession we need every day of our lives and the only one we must have to survive.

God Bless the Farmers

God bless the farmers,
So patient and true,
Who harvest the land,
For me and you.

They put food on their tables,
But not theirs alone,
They feed a whole nation,
With seeds they have sown.

With cattle and corn,
They work, and they toil,
Raise plants and animals,
Delicious food from the soil.

With chickens and pigs,
And horses and such,
They take so little,
But give back so much.

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They plant their crops,
With much anticipation,
And feed so many people,
With little appreciation.

Yet they keep working,
Without any fuss,
Statistics show just one of them,
Feeds 155 of us.

They watch the weather,
Both day and night,
Knowing God’s mercy,
Will make everything alright.

Though sun and rain,
May put them to the test,
Even when their crops fail, 
They’ll tell you they’re “blessed.”

Whether it is dry or wet,
Or an overcast sky,
Farming is in their blood,
And they’ll do it until they die.

So, when you sit down to eat,
Remember it came from the land,
From the grace of an almighty God,
And the hard work of a farmer’s hand.

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Written By

Beth Chapman is Alabama’s former State Auditor and 51st Secretary of State. She now owns and operates Beth Chapman & Associates, LLC. She can be reached at [email protected]

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