As a dietitian, understanding how food gets to our table helps me appreciate and value food more. I’m always impressed to see what it takes to ensure that our grocery stores have milk on the shelves so that we can have milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products in our kitchens. Thank goodness for farmers!

I recently visited J&K Dairy in Sunnyside, WA. They do many things to make milk happen. They are very conscientious to reduce noise, odor and assure clean water. They waste almost nothing. Like many farmers, they care for the land, water, air, animals and conserve natural resources in many ways. For instance, water is a vital resource and they make sure to use their water 4-5 times before they irrigate their fields. They reuse and re-purpose many things on their farm to minimize waste from going to the landfill. They even recycle manure in 2 ways!

They are high touch and high tech. Technology helps farmers manage all the variables of the business. First and foremost, technology is important to monitor the health of the cow. The ear tags help tell them how “Bessie” is feeling, how much milk she produces, and where she is.

I suggest that we all better understand what it takes to put food on our table, and remember to thank a farmer.