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Serving: IL

Thanks and Giving: Heritage

Day 1 of giving thanks...for roots.

It's Day 1 of Thanks and Giving...a month-long look at what we can be thankful for in agriculture and the rural Midwest. Today, our roots.

Farming is a generational business. Most of us are in it because our parents or grandparents were in it. What we have here is a heritage, and we have more than 8,300 Centennial Farms in Illinois to prove it.

Take the Defenbaugh family, for example.

Ray and Alice are the 9th of 10 generations of Defenbaughs to farm American soil. Every generation has married a farmer's daughter and none have divorced. 2010 marks their 300th consecutive year of making a living off of the land. The original Defenbaughs farmed in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and by 1851, they traveled with 11 wagons to homestead and break sod in the virgin Illinois prairie. That's a whole lot of German persistence. To date, five generations have farmed in Illinois.

Maybe your roots don't extend that far. Mine sure don't. Regardless, we all have someone who taught us the land and got us on our feet. And that's something to be grateful for.

Click here to continue on to Thanks & Giving Day 2: Piles

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