Home On Labor Day, let’s remember our hard-working farmers

On Labor Day, let’s remember our hard-working farmers


Column by Sandra. J. Adams
Commissioner, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

virginiaThis Labor Day, I ask every Virginian to join me in remembering the hard work of the farmers who provide food, feed and fiber for our state and nation. These are the men and women who work long hours in all kinds of weather while dealing with the vagaries of weather, prices and changing public tastes.

Remarkably, they do it with a smile and a strong sense of contributing to the betterment of the world.

Here are some ways to thank a Virginia farmer on this national holiday:

  • Visit a pick-your-own farm or a local farmers’ market this weekend to create Labor Day meals from Virginia products: beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb or seafood for the main course; side dishes featuring fresh tomatoes, sweet corn, squash, green beans, cabbage, potatoes, cucumbers and more; drinks that include Virginia milk, wine, sweet or hard cider, craft brews or locally-bottled water; and desserts such as ice cream or fried honey bites using local eggs, honey and butter.
  • When you visit that farm or market, take the time to get to know the farmers behind the food. Ask her about her typical day. (Spoiler alert, there’s no such thing.) Get him to tell you what decisions he’s making right now for next year’s growing season. If the kids are there, have them tell you about raising a lamb or a calf for their 4-H project.
  • Begin your fall planting season with local bedding plants, shrubs or trees. Locally-grown plants and trees are grown in Virginia’s climate and topography and will thrive because of this built-in acclimation.
  • Visit an agritourism venue (check VirginiaGrown.com) for a family outing. In addition to picking fresh produce and apples, you may be able to navigate a corn or hay maze, ride a pony, feed the chickens, have dinner, shop at the country store, stretch out in a hammock under a shady tree, fish or even spend the night.

Most of all, be aware that all of this food and all of this fun comes to you directly from the hands of our dedicated farmers.



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