As farmers, our hands have always been active in food production. We've been in continual search of how to produce more food safer, cheaper, and more efficiently. We spend hours in the hot sun listening to researchers describe a better method of fertilization, or tillage, or how to manage weeds, disease and insects. There is always something new to learn. I keep attending these field days hoping to hear the newest wheat variety is high yielding and high protein, but so far, it's always a tradeoff between yield and protein. Maybe next year.
I am beginning to see how food production has come full circle for so many people. A few generations ago it was common to produce nearly everything you ate. Every farm had a few pigs, cows, chickens and sheep, and a large garden full of vegetables. It became a status symbol to buy food grown elsewhere, and pretty soon people found it was easier to go grocery shopping, than weed a garden daily.
Now the reverse is happening. Playing in the dirt is the new status symbol. It's no longer enough to have a McMansion in the suburbs, but you need to own a few acres outside town with some backyard chickens. The full circle of food production is coming around.
Food production requires more than just buying a book on backyard chickens, or an apple tree, and the more people that realize that, the more appreciative people will be for farmers. Raising food isn't the latest fad for us, and it never has been.