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Bill and I didn’t hit the road this year for Thanksgiving because of the pandemic, so the day was a little different, but as festive as possible. There was food, football and naps involved. We missed not seeing family, but we would rather be safe than sorry with this COVID-19 virus. 

The pandemic might change how I celebrated Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t mean I am any less thankful. In 2020, my family has continued to grow with new babies, and there will be yet another one in early 2021. That means the Christmas list keeps growing, but that’s OK. I’m hopeful we will get to spend a little time with all of the kids for Christmas, but it’s a wait-and-see game at this point.

I’m thankful for that cantankerous husband of mine. We drive each other up the wall most days, give each other a hard time and get snippy with one another, but at the end of the day, he still calls me Babe and I still call him Honey. He’s rough around the edges, but he’s a softy. 

I’m thankful my dad is still getting around and doing what he wants to do. I get upset with his stubbornness, but I guess he’s entitled to it. Unlike some families, the pandemic allows me to see him a little more. He comes over for supper every other Sunday, and I think he’s thankful I have conquered some of my cooking “issues.” However, at least one Sunday meal consisted of a bucket of extra crispy chicken made with 11 herbs and spices. I regret nothing; it was delicious, and clean up was a breeze. 

I’m thankful for the farmers who make life a little easier for us every day, not just on Thanksgiving. Think about how many farmers are needed to provide consumers with a single meal. For example, there’s typically a dairy farmer (milk, butter, cream or other dairy products), a livestock producer (beef, pork, lamb or chevon/goat), a grain farmer (wheat, corn, soybeans, canola, sunflower or wheat), a produce/fruit/citrus grower (oranges, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, lettuce, cranberries, etc.) and poultry producer (eggs, chicken and turkey) involved. You might not know their faces or their names, but they, and their farms, are a part of your daily routine. They might not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but farmers and ranchers of all types are unsung heroes and keep the world fed and clothed. 

As you look around your Thanksgiving table this year, be thankful you are a part of an industry that has persevered and evolved since 10,000 BC with the onset of the Agricultural Revolution. I can’t think of a single city person who can say that about their career choice.

We here at Ozarks Farm & Neighbor hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for you.

Julie Turner-Crawford is a native of Dallas County, Mo., where she grew up on her family’s farm. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Julie, call 1-866-532-1960 or by email at [email protected]

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