A Moment of Pause and Thanks
By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness Media (November 22, 2022)
Not sure about you, but I know it’s not too often that we actually slow down and soak in time. But this week is a perfect occasion to do that – to pause and be thankful before we dive into one of the busiest seasons of the year. With this, we at WIA Today wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you have many things to be appreciative of – things that make you smile, be grateful, and look forward with hope.
We know that in the food and ag sector, we are thankful that, despite unprecedented droughts and floods, derechos, and other unusual weather patterns, not to mention war, U.S. farmers soldiered through and harvested ahead of schedule this year. And even with grain production lower than in the previous year, the nation’s farmers are diligently working, amid tight world supplies, to keep the world fed. A world that has seen much turmoil in 2022, especially with the Ukraine/Russia war, which saw these super producers of grain (more than a quarter of the world’s wheat supply come from these two countries) cut exports by millions of tons due to the conflict.
But the ag sector is resilient, and thankfully becoming more appreciated and understood by businesses and consumers alike, particularly since COVID-19 shined a light on the unprecedented importance of the industry. Farmland values are at an all-time high, where for example, in South Dakota, values surged 18.7 percent from 2021 to 2022. Younger farmers are putting more boots on the ground and breathing new life into farming and farm methods (the USDA last week granted $24 million to help new farmers and ranchers), and the agtech sector is abuzz with new technologies and innovations, as with this just-announced cultivated turkey product from Israeli cell-based meat company SuperMeat, conveniently arriving for Thanksgiving.
And it is never more appropriate than now – a time when the celebration is all about the meal – to reflect and be grateful for the abundance of food we have available. And for those who produce the food, the myriad options in front of us (is your turkey organic? Your apple pie GMO-free?) and our freedom to enjoy these choices, and gather with others to share in the feast. It is with this in mind, that we, at Women in Agribusiness, say thank you to you, our readers, for sharing our stories through the year, providing input and contributing content, and joining us as you can throughout the year, in-person at our conferences or MeetUps.
May you enjoy peace and tranquility this Thanksgiving.
Michelle Pelletier Marshall
Editor, WIA Today