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Happy Thanksgiving to those who feed, clothe and protect

As the 2012-13 holiday season begins, I’d like to pass on some well-deserved kudos, beginning at home with those who prepared a fine feast on Thanksgiving Day. My Thanksgiving dinner was a little more expensive this year, but not by much, 28 cents more than last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The price of a 16-pound turkey went up 66 cents, but prices for a lot of other stuff, like stuffing, sweet potatoes, green peas and cranberries, were actually lower.

This weekend is the Thanksgiving weekend, and I’m feeling mighty appreciative of leftovers and football.

A pat on the back to the citizens of America. We witnessed a national election determined by a 2.8 percent margin of victory and there were no riots, automobiles burned or guns fired in the air or otherwise. Despite the extremes in political perspective in our nation, we simply got up the next morning and got on with our lives.

Many thanks to those who make our country the safest and most secure in the world. Our freedom and security is in the hands of men and women who sacrifice their safety, and too often their lives, to preserve this standard. They can never be thanked enough. My gratitude goes out to the armed forces, police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers who put themselves in harm’s way every day.

Thanks to all the producers who helped put Thanksgiving dinner on the table. U.S. farmers undertake a huge risk each and every year. People out of touch with the land and its resources frequently blast farmers for this or that, and hardly ever think about how supermarket and department store shelves remain “magically” lined with goods all year round. Farmers fight drought, hurricanes and heat somewhere, each and every season. Many times, there is bounty, sometimes bust, but the desire to nurture a crop never falters.

Everyone in agriculture has a different take on high commodity prices, depending on whether those prices constitute an input cost or revenue. But this is the nature of capitalism. With higher prices come higher input costs, which squeeze profit margins and force everyone in the supply chain to innovate, adapt and increase efficiency. Thanks to allied industry, Extension, USDA and farmer innovators who work hard to keep commercial operations as profitable as possible.

The cost of putting in a crop would give most of us a serious case of the heebie jeebies, yet in the end, farmers somehow manage to write a lot of paychecks for a lot of folks. We at Delta Farm Press wish U.S. farmers and their families a Happy Thanksgiving. You are appreciated.



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