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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Howard’

Thank farmers

Today, Americans will take time to sit down and share a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends. Now, more than ever, I am thankful for those who provided the Thanksgiving meal.

I am thankful to live in the United States where the average consumers spend about 10 percent of their disposable income on food, compared to those in India who spend more than 50 percent. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner dropped 4 percent in price this year.

I am thankful that I have the opportunity to serve the people who grow our food. If you bought fresh pole beans for Thanksgiving dinner, then family farmers Larry and Mark Dunagan grew them with care in Redland. If you’re enjoying squash, then family farmers such as Arturo DeLeon, Angela DelliVeneri, Sal Finocchiaro, Vito Strano and Eric Torrese grew them with pride in South Dade.

Family farmers such as John Alger and Robbie Martens grew the super sweet corn in the fertile fields of the East Glade. The red tomatoes you’re enjoying were grown by family farmers such as Freddy Strano, Kern Carpenter and Ed Hagan. The green beans for your casserole were grown by family farmers such as Bruce Dunn, Leo Talarico and Dan Howard. There are so other many family farmers in Miami-Dade County who deserve our thanks for growing safe, affordable and abundant food.

I am thankful for the efforts of Donna Reno, Gabrielle Berryer and Hani Khouri, who are helping consumers reconnect with their food source through Slow Food. I am thankful for the work of Charles LaPradd of Miami-Dade County, who helped launch the Redland Raised regional marketing program at Publix Supermarkets last month. I am thankful for Gabrielle Marewski of Paradise Farms. She cultivates interest in local agriculture from chefs and foodies.

The South Dade farmer holds many titles — businessperson, steward of the environment, neighbor, community leader and grower. Taking seed, soil and water, this farmer produces not only a crop but an economic impact of $2.7 billion and provides jobs for about 20,000 people. Privately owned agricultural land provides wildlife habitat and is an aquifer recharge area. All the farmer asks for is the opportunity to make an honest living growing food for a hungry nation.

All of our farmers, large and small, deserve thanks every time we eat. We take many things for granted. America’s farmers should not be among them.

KATIE A. EDWARDS, executive director, Dade County Farm Bureau, Redland

published in Letters, the Miami Herald, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009

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