Why I Thank Agriculture

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Imagine this: you walk into your home on a crisp fall afternoon and your senses are all over the place. You can smell cinnamon and baked apples as a fresh, warm apple pie just comes out of the oven. You hear the bubbling of a creamy vegetable soup over the stovetop. You see a delicious steak marinated to perfection and about to be cooked just how you like it. To top it off, you are about to take a sip from a large mug of peppermint hot chocolate. I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering right now!1

After picturing all of that happening, I cannot help but be thankful for the hands that have produced each ingredient in those delicious foods. November is the perfect time to reflect on why we are thankful for everything we have been given in our lives. Something that I am most thankful for, and is often taken for granted, is agriculture. I can think of a million reasons #WhyIThankAg, but what I want to highlight is the delicious and nutritious foods farmers are producing to feed the world. It does not matter if you grow fruits, vegetables, or grain crops,  care for animals or produce herbs and spices, I am thankful for farmers all over the United States that produce a safe and abundant food supply.

I really enjoy cooking and baking and I know it would not be possible without the farmers and ranchers that help to produce each ingredient. Without them, one of my favorite pastimes would not be possible (and we would starve). That is #WhyIThankAg. Growing up on a dairy farm means that my family is almost always busy and meals are eaten in unusual places and at unusual times. With chilly fall nights and an always cold Minnesota winter, there is one recipe that is my family’s go-to when we need something quick, hearty and delicious. There is nothing better than a hot, creamy soup when you need to warm up.  Check out this AMAZING soup recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association.
Soup-er Creamy Veggie Soup2
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups reduced fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14 ½ ounces) fat free chicken broth
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets or cut fresh green beans
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of diced cooked chicken breast

 

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, potato and carrots; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 5 minutes.
  2. Add broccoli, salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes.
  3. Place flour in a medium bowl. Gradually stir in milk, mixing well.
  4. Add milk mixture and cooked chicken to soup; bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and soup has thickened.

3Need a quicker version?  Use pre-cut or thawed frozen vegetables to make this delicious soup in half of the time!

It is not often that most people think about the individual person that helps to produce the food they are putting into their favorite recipes. It is so important to remember that food does not just come from the grocery store. There are hardworking, passionate people behind each and every food that we enjoy eating. Next time you sit down with your family for a delicious dinner, remember the people who are working around the clock to feed your family and the families of people all over the world. Thank you, farmers and ranchers, because of you my family can enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal together, I can occasionally indulge in my favorite sweets and treats and I am able to continue to participate in one of my favorite hobbies. Because of the food you produce, I will always be thankful for agriculture.

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