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Growing recognition
Glenn Brunkow
Glenn Brunkow, Pottawatomie County farmer and rancher

Farmers and ranchers in Kansas are amazing people. Yes, I am tooting our own horn, but we deserve it. We are hard-working and all too humble people, and the work we do is something our fellow humans literally cannot live without. We grow food.

I say all of this because my colleagues in agriculture will not. I know they are too busy working long hours doing their job, including working up to seven days a week. We wait for someone else to acknowledge our good work, and that is an admirable trait. So, I am going to say it for all of us.

Just look at the last five years. We have survived some of the worst weather and drought in recorded history, a pandemic, supply chain disruptions, increased costs for everything and high interest rates, and we are still here. What is more, we are producing more food, using fewer inputs and less land all while protecting the air, soil and water around us.

Our jobs will get harder in the upcoming years because we will need to produce even more food —more food than we have ever produced in history. We will also be asked to do it with less land all while improving the natural resources with which we are entrusted. That is a heavy lift.

Do you know what? We will do it, and we will do it better than anyone can even imagine. Farmers and ranchers have stepped up and met every challenge thrown our way. We are asked to do the impossible, and we come through with flying colors each time. That is something to be proud of.

We put our backs into the harness and pull our heavy loads, never expecting any recognition or accolades. Its time we recognized the good work we do and let the rest of the world know how proud we are of the food we grow. It’s not bragging, it’s pride, and that is not something we should be shy to tell the rest of the world about.

We are a humble group. Take a step back and look at the impact our work has on the world around us. We feed a hungry, growing population. Nothing else can be accomplished if you are starving. The rest of the world needs us, whether they recognize it or not.

I know we do not do our jobs for recognition, but it is important to take time to look at all we do. The changes we have navigated are stunning. We have done this in some of the hardest times we have ever faced, and we did it with style and grace. All of this is something we need to acknowledge and take pride in.

So, during this busy season, take a minute to appreciate all we have accomplished on our farms and ranches. We rightfully are and should be proud of what we do. And in their own way, I know a hungry world recognizes this.

“Insight” is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.