‘Tis the season! As we jump into the thick of the Christmas season, complete with cups of eggnog, meals with family and gifts around the tree, one cannot forget those responsible for the gifts that make our holiday traditions possible.

While many share concerns for snow-covered roads and nights below zero, there is a dairy farmer forging through the storm to care for a newborn calf. At the same time, a milk truck driver carefully navigates country roads to deliver the milk to the creamery. As our families gather around the table to share a holiday meal, remember to thank the dairy industry for the milk in the glass.

While the family’s patriarch carefully watches over the holiday ham in the oven, there is a hog farmer checking piglets under a heat lamp in the barn. The ham comes out hot and ready for the family’s consumption, while the farmer monitors the barn temperature to ensure the comfort and well-being of the hogs. As we carve the meat to complete our plates, remember to thank the pork industry for the entrée.

The meal concludes and the desserts are passed, fruit, grain and vegetable farmers give thanks for a complete and bountiful harvest. As the toils of winter may go on outside our doors, many of those from the field recall the challenges and hardships from the growing and harvest seasons. As we dig into the holiday pie and set out cookies for Santa, remember to thank the fruit, grain and vegetable farmers who grew their crops for harvest.

The family gathers around the Christmas tree and passes out the bounty of gifts from one loved one to another, just as the Christmas tree farmer closes down their stand for the winter. Gifts of clothing, candles, toys and more are accepted, praised and appreciated among the family. Meanwhile, the farmers of various commodities from fiber to soy give thanks for those who have purchased their materials to make the products.

From the meal with all the trimmings to the various gifts that we excitedly anticipate, the holidays would not be possible without the diligent dedication that comes from America’s farmers. Just like anyone else, they too enjoy the comforts of home and family, but not without first and foremost caring for the crops, animals and equipment that allow all of us to enjoy our own holiday meals and traditions.

As you gather with your family in the coming days to celebrate the holiday season, do not forget to thank the farmers who make every step of your celebration possible. Happy holidays and a joyous New Year to you and yours!

Cassie Olson is the Wisconsin Farm Bureau District 4 coordinator

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Jackson County Chronicle editor

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