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National Ag Day: Planting Seeds of Gratitude for Farmers and Ranchers

USDA is encouraging everyone to thank a farmer or rancher since so much of our livelihoods depend on their efforts.
The USDA is encouraging everyone to take time to thank a farmer, because its the work of American farmers and ranchers like Darrell Ueckert that help put food on our dining tables. Ueckert explains that farming and ranching is a business he loves, but it is also a risky business.

"Farmers and ranchers are exposed to a tremendous amount of risk, probably more risk than any other industry or business that I am aware of." says Ueckert.

Mother Nature is the biggest friend and foe for Ag producers. "We already have about ninety dollars an acre in this wheat crop and we would have to make about seventeen bushels an acre to break even." explains Ueckert.

He explains that his wheat crop is not looking good this year due to the lack of rain, but he says that it is part of the business.
"Its pretty disheartening, but its part of being in the farming and ranching business. You have to be the eternal optimist."

Financially, consecutive years of failed crops are difficult to recover from. 

"The insurance doesn't pay near as well as a good crop, but at least it helps them survive until next year."

Even though the farm and ranch business can be pretty tough, Uekert says he would not trade it for anything. "Its a way of life that I wouldn't trade for anything...all my career spent as a scientist, I could not wait until I could retire and go back home and live on the land."

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