As a person who was raised to love God and family, in that order, I especially cherish Christmas time. Do you remember as a kid searching for where your parents might have hidden your gifts? Oh, I do! My brothers and I waited for the day we knew our parents had a tax appointment and wouldn’t be home when we got off the bus from school. Yes – we thought we were pretty much the next closest thing to Magnum P.I. (only those from the 80′s are going to get that one) in solving our own little mysteries! And, what an anticlimactic experience to know what I was opening on Christmas morning…I only made that mistake of actually peeking at the unwrapped gifts one time! Gosh – I did enough speech and drama in school, that acting shouldn’t have been that difficult, but the element of surprise is pretty challenging to show if it isn’t genuine!
I got a chance on Sunday to wrap gifts for our family and friends while Matt and the Kids were deer hunting and checking cows. It’s good to have that task done, but more importantly, I got to have what I wanted to watch on TV! Not to mention eating crazy combinations of food for my meals, like having wine with nachos for lunch. Yum! Being a girl with time alone (every once in a while) is nice.
As much as everyone loves a fun surprise as a Christmas gift, no one wants surprises when it comes to their food. More and more, it seems, people want to know how their food was grown, where it came from, who grew it, and on and on. This year, more than ever, farmers have been making a concerted effort to explain farming and food production. As 2011 comes to a close, I am in awe as I think of all of the blogs, tours, town hall meetings, videos, TV and radio interviews and dozens of other efforts that have taken place between farmers and consumers throughout the year. I can’t help but be excited for opportunities to appear in 2012. As more people leave the farm to pursue other interests and fewer of us are left to grow the food, we need to work hard to explain our work more often and more thoroughly.
I am so thankful I have the opportunity to participate in programs like CommonGround where I feel I am truly helping bridge that gap between farmers and consumers. Plus, I get to meet all kinds of awesome people from all over the country – you know who you are!
So, my Christmas present to anyone reading this: (Sorry if I’m ruining your Christmas morning surprise from me)… My continued dedication to do things right as a caretaker of the land and livestock, resulting in the safest, most delicious, food you can get from South Central Nebraska and North Central Kansas.