Your Food Comes From Farmers
We’ve come a long way since the days of Old MacDonald and his menagerie of barnyard animals. And yet, we understand that many people are curious about the process of agriculture and how their food makes it from farm to fork. We appreciate that and are glad to help out, because we understand that for many consumers, farming remains a complete mystery.
The fact is, 95 percent of U.S. farms are family farms – owned and operated by educated men and women with families just like yours. They too are concerned about maintaining the health of the land, animals and water in order to provide a bright future for generations to come. Not only do their livelihoods depend on it, but their families do as well.
The Field-to-Fork Process
For many consumers, growing crops may seem pretty simple. After all, anyone can plant some seed, watch it grow and then harvest when it’s ready. However, there’s a lot more that goes into feeding this hungry world than simply laying down some seed and watching it grow. Farmers do a large amount of prep work before planting can even begin, including testing and managing soil nutrients, working the fields and maintaining machinery, to name just a few. After all the planting has been done in the spring, the summer months are spent monitoring plant growth and health, and fighting invasive weeds and pests. In the fall, farmers harvest the crops while in peak condition and then transport them to local grain elevators or food processing plants where they undergo rigorous quality and safety testing. Only after all of this is complete is the crop processed or fed to animals so it can be delivered as food to grocery stores and restaurants for everyone to consume.
Soybeans are a crop that turns up in your local grocery store as cooking oil, tofu, edamame and other ingredients. Soybeans are also used as a healthy, protein-rich feed for livestock such as cattle, hogs and poultry before going to stores in the form of meat, eggs, milk and cheese. Soybean oil is also used to produce renewable products such as plastic, adhesives, foam, cleaning products and biofuels, to name a few.