From the Ground Up: Agriculture and Thanksgiving

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BRAZOS COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) - When most of us go grocery shopping we just assume that whatever we’re looking for will be there, giving little thought to the fact that none of the traditional favorites that we enjoy during holidays originate at a grocery store.

“I’ve had the privilege and I’ve been blessed the last twenty-two years to travel the world around three times," said Jim Mazurkiewicz, a professor and Director of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program. "I’ve been on every major continent and I’ve visited every major agricultural producing country in this world. We are very blessed to have a highly efficient productive food system in this world, in the United States.”

Mazurkiewicz says that our country is the envy of the world.

“We spend six point three percent of our disposable income. Guatemala spends forty percent--Nigeria sixty percent," said Mazurkiewicz. "Some of these other third world countries do not take food for granted. They’re just looking, some of these places for their next meal. And they’re not worried about whether it’s gluten-free, GMO or whatever. These folks are looking for the next meal to take care of their families just like any parent is always trying to take care of their family.”

Jason Wendler is a Brazos Valley farmer and rancher and says that it’s easy to understand the disconnect that consumers have to agriculture.

“It’s real simple," said Wendler. "A hundred years ago ninety-seven percent of the people were producing the food for themselves. Today it’s ninety-seven, ninety-eight percent of everyone, there’s two percent of the people that’s producing for that ninety-seven or ninety-eight.”

Mazurkiewicz notes that this week is a time that we should be thankful for our many blessings.

“As we sit with my family on Thanksgiving we’re going to give thanks for the farmers and ranchers of the United States for leading the way, modeling the way in Agricultural research and technology. We’re also going to give thanks for the abundant food supply that we’re going to have on the table because there’s another two billion people in the world that won’t have what we have on that table that day.”

So when you’re saying grace over those wonderful Thanksgiving leftovers, put a good word in for the farmers and ranchers that made that meal possible