POINT OF VIEW: Florrida farmers typically look to help others

Thanksgiving is a time for expressing our appreciation for the many blessings we enjoy. The food that is a central part of the celebration is one of those blessings.

Our farmers and ranchers provide us with an abundant supply of nutrition throughout the year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, consumers in Florida and across the nation pay one of the least expensive food bills in the world. In some countries the average household must pay 40 to 50 percent of its annual income for food.

Farm families also continue to produce an ample supply of nourishment under challenging circumstances. USDA economists report that the farmer’s share of the U.S. food dollar in the early 1970s was nearly 30 cents. Last year it was about 17 cents.

Our agricultural triumph has been possible because of the dedication and productivity of farm families. They produce more with less acreage and less income and more regulation than ever before in our nation’s history.

They also contribute to our society in other ways. They give back to their communities.

Their willingness to help others has been on full display here in Florida. For example, during the past two years Florida’s farm families have donated more than 20 million pounds of fruits and vegetables to food banks and other charitable organizations.

Perhaps the most dramatic examples of farmers helping others occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Millions of Floridians suffered extended electrical power outages after the storm struck. A group of farm women in Highlands County took matters into their own hands so they could help utility workers who struggled to restore the power grid.

They collected soiled clothing from dozens of workers every evening at 10 p.m., transported the items to a functioning laundry, then washed and dried all items for use the next morning. And the volunteers continued to perform this service until the power lines were rebuilt.

Another Highlands County farmer arranged to bring in potable water, tarpaulins, ready-to-eat meals and other supplies for all who needed them in his community.

In Palm Beach County yet another grower harvested his available fruits and vegetables and delivered them to local citizens who lacked basic necessities and could not get access to grocery stores.

Such selfless acts of service to others reflect one of our cherished national traditions.


Editor’s note: Hoblick is president of Florida Farm Bureau.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: Come to this island, before it disappears

KUTUBDIA, Bangladesh — Anyone who doubts climate change should come to this lovely low-lying island, lapped by gentle waves and home to about 100,000 people. But come quickly, while it’s still here. “My house was over there,” said Zainal Abedin, a farmer, pointing to the waves about 100 feet from the shore. “At low tide...
Editorial: Fire chief’s response time on sex harassment was his undoing
Editorial: Fire chief’s response time on sex harassment was his undoing

So the fire chief couldn’t stand up to the county administrator and now wants his job back. Jeffrey Collins, the former Palm Beach County Fire Rescue chief, resigned on Jan. 12 in the wake of sexual harassment and retaliation complaints under his command. Almost immediately he “rescinded” his decision, saying he had been pressured...
Letters: Brightline accidents tragic, but is railway really to blame?
Letters: Brightline accidents tragic, but is railway really to blame?

BRIGHTLINE, the innovative high-speed passenger rail service, has been in operation for only about a week and a half, and already three people have been hit by trains. Tragically, two of them died. You’ve sent us a flood of letters and emails about it — nearly 100 in all. As you’ll see below, most put the blame not on the railway...
Rampell: Blame McConnell and Ryan for the shutdown

It was neither the #TrumpShutdown nor the #SchumerShutdown. It wasn’t even the #StephenMillerShutdown. It was always the #McConnellRyanShutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan are responsible for the completely avoidable three-day federal shutdown that ended Monday. They will likewise be responsible for the...
Gerson: The Trump evangelicals have lost their gag reflex

Billy Graham has been one of the most visible, respected and influential Christians in the world since the 1950s. But he often had a blind spot when it came to politics. Graham was Richard Nixon’s spiritual adviser. And Nixon consulted him on everything from his vice presidential pick to the conduct of the Vietnam War. It must have been a heady...
More Stories