Thank The Farmers

Mission4Milk are proud to house a guest article by Sian Mercer of My Rural Tribe.

  • by Sian Mercier

Thank The Farmers

Who would have thought that a virus in China could, within a few short weeks, bring the world to its knees? But it has.

We went along with ‘normal’ life, looking on from afar as China shut down, and some UK businesses had to reduce work hours as parts weren’t coming in.

And look at us now! By March we realised that China was not alone and that virus was spreading and spreading fast! And life as we knew it was no more…..

We have seen great praise going to the NHS, front line workers doing their best to keep people alive, alive in a medical sense. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for all of their hard work! We’d also like to thank the farmers and processors for keeping us alive with food. 

I truly believe that Covid-19 is a message from mother nature, to show us that we need to start treating the earth better, to show that if we poison it with chemicals, viruses will mutate and there will be those that will be unable to defend themselves from it.

It has shown up at a time when our lives were so busy, people were becoming unconnected from themselves, their families, friends and communities.  Mud was being slung, handbags at dawn, lies, insults and propaganda being thrown around like a football in the playground… but CV19 has made us STOP and slow down and take a hard look at what is important to life as we know it, and the thing is, it comes back to what it always has been and always should be for humans and animals alike, food (& water), shelter and community.  The 3 basics of survival.  That’s it. 




Food, this magical thing that appears on supermarket shelves, in restaurants and takeaways, in vending machines, its everywhere you look… until it isn’t.  Fear makes people go crazy, we have seen stockpiling of toilet roll… in a media frenzy and then came the food shelves… pasta, rice and tinned goods, stripped off the shelves, supermarkets taken by surprise, a ‘surprise’ that seemed to last a couple of weeks, until full lockdown, then we saw the new normal of queues outside food shops, to limit items bought and time to refill shelves. This fear and seeing ‘lack’ has made people re-think their food… where does it come from… it is something that was taken for granted for so long, but not anymore.




But where does this food start its journey… yes… that’s right, our farmers. Our farmers who in early March had been told they were useless to the economy, by Tim Luenig, were suddenly taking on the gauntlet to ensure the supply chain kept working.

Who would I turn to in time of crisis? I would turn to a farmer. Farmers are made for the job of working under pressure, with changing times, when has a day gone completely to plan for a farmer? They are the ultimate’s of adapting to circumstances, the weather, the markets, the sick animals, the broken fence, a snowstorm, a flood, these are the people that get up every day and get on with it.  

The farmer… is a humble person, who knows that the animals get fed first and that sleep doesn’t happen until the crops are all harvested. The farmer is a person who follows the seasons, who sees the sunrise as they bring the cows in and the night sky as the lambing shed is checked. They encounter life and death, feast and famine, and still, they provide the food.


Look at your plate and your cup…


Just take a moment, and look at what you are eating or drinking. Everything we consume starts life on a farm, be it in the UK or abroad. It starts with growing from the soil or being birthed from an animal. It is then nurtured by a farmer, who has tended the soil, fed the earth & animal, and harvested crops, by machine or hand, which is then sent to be processed so that we can eat.




I am proud to come from a farming family, proud that family and friends are ensuring the nation is fed, following farmers on Instagram, seeing them working hard, busy lambing, calving and getting the crops in the ground after a wet year, cows being walked to the parlour under a glorious sunrise, these are the people who are getting up and on with their daily lives and businesses. These are the people who are the start of the food chain, to ensure that the shelves are stocked so our bellies are full.

Over the years we have seen Britain’s’ self-sufficiency of food drop to 60%, something we don’t have to think about in ‘normal’ circumstances, but now, it is something we need to think about. The supply chain is fragile and changing, our farmers have been at the bottom of the ‘food chain’ for too long, and I hope the British public are realising how absurd this is.  

The media has stamped them down, and social media trolls have called them unimaginable names, accountable for all climate change and this has been lapped up… it has been believed, but now the truth is coming out.  We see British farmers keeping our food supply chains going, pollution has dropped by more than 50%, we see the shelves stocked with dairy, meat, eggs and vegetables. The humble potato has never been more popular and flour is like hens’ teeth as everyone slows down and takes up baking.  Basic ‘raw’ ingredients are flying off the shelves as people learn to cook again, and enjoy it, enjoy the time it takes to prepare a ‘home-cooked’ meal.


Made to farm…


Britain is a country made for farming, we have a diverse country, lowlands, highlands, flatlands, hill lands, warm, wet, crops, grass, orchards, nurseries we can grow it all, well maybe not a banana, but we can feed OUR nation with nutrient-rich foods.

We should take time to thank the farmers too who are keeping us well and fed.

The practical keyworker is keeping us going, keeping the country moving, those whose jobs have not been pushed by the school careers advisor, jobs that are nor revered, are not driving a computer or equating to a fancy car.

The farmers are keeping us going, with their wellies on, muck on their boots, soil under their nails, their practical ability to adapt and change and their amazing work ethic.

Thank God for making farmers, who keep going for hours until the job is done, who can help birth an animal, mend a tractor and tend the crops – And all to keep the nation fed. 

I am proud, I am proud that I am part of the farming story, I am proud when I look across the fields and see newborn lambs and tractors tending the land. I am proud when I visit the farm shop and see the shelves abundant with local British food, I am proud of the food on my plate.  I am Proud of our humble farmers, who get up and get on with it, every, single, day.

Thank you, thank you, Farmers.

So God made a Farmer…

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon — and mean it.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain’n from ‘tractor back,’ put in another seventy-two hours.” So God made a farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church. 

“Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life ‘doing what dad does.'” So God made a farmer.


By Paul Harvey




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