Fornstrom: Food brings everyone to the table
“Food brings everyone to the table!”
This phrase was an understatement when I was growing up. As the youngest of three brothers growing up on a farm, the table was where I learned a lot about life.
We were always hungry, and we most likely needed the most direction at this stage in life. Lunch time was first and foremost a time to refuel and recover in preparation for the rest of the day.
My mother always had the meal ready, and my brothers and I had the job of setting and picking up the table. We would all sit down with mom on one end of the table and dad at the other and eat as a family.
Whether we talked about what happened earlier in the day or what was supposed to happen the rest of the day, we enjoyed the family time. I suppose the hidden parts of the meal everyday were the planning, feedback and simple responsibilities taught to us young boys through simply eating lunch.
Food is not only nourishment for the body, but it has been the platform to facilitate meetings and gatherings alike. We as Americans get together to celebrate everything from the Fourth of July, Christmas, and Thanksgiving to super bowls, graduations and the common backyard picnics.
The reason for getting together varies widely as the type of food being served. From backyard barbeques with our neighbors to Heads of State dinners for our national leaders, the purpose is the sharing of culture, tradition, camaraderie and common ground through the gathering around a table with food being served.
As a farmer, I believe we play a crucial role in how society works together. Food is not only essential to our well-being, but it is also a platform to get everyone to the table.
In America, we farmers and ranchers produce the most abundant, safe and economically priced food supply in the world. With this in mind, there are many forces affecting our ability to produce this food.
Some of those forces include availability of labor, regulation of air, water, fertilizer and pest control. Those issues, along with additional pressures from global trade, have an impact on farmers and ranchers.
In today’s day and age, the consumers are so far removed from the farm table and they want to know how we produce their food along with many other questions. It is our job as farmers and ranchers to not only reassure our customers of their food’s safety, but also help bring them to the table through education on our production processes.
We all should keep in mind food is part of our overall freedom; without an adequate supply we are dependent on sources outside of our control and outside of our borders.
The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation invites all Wyomingites to celebrate agriculture and learn more about its role in your daily lives and recognize the issues impacting agriculture.
We proudly celebrate Wyoming agriculture and its people every day of the year and specifically on National Agriculture Day – March 23, 2021.
Todd Fornstrom is the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation President. He, his wife Laura and their four children farm in Laramie County. Fornstrom runs Premium Hay Products, an alfalfa pellet mill and runs a trucking business and custom harvest business. Fornstrom also works with his family on the Fornstrom Feedlot near Pine Bluffs. The diversified farm consists of irrigated corn, wheat, alfalfa and dry beans.