It’s been several months since I posted a photo of our first granddaughter, Stevie. Here she is decked out in her strawberry gear. Our industry consists mostly of family farms and who knows, she might just wind up farming herself! I’ll admit it’s going to be awhile before she can handle a tractor!
Stevie is seven months old now and pulling up and standing. She’s still toothless, but loves to chew on everything. She adores her Papa Mark’s strawberries. She rides beside him on a custom seat he had installed in his new John Deere, just for her. Mark himself is a third generation strawberry grower.
Strawberry farming has come a long way since the early days, but one thing that has stayed consistent for us is our use of farming equipment. Tractors, like those made by John Deere, make such a huge difference to our harvesting capabilities.
I read someplace that today there are now nearly five million fewer farms in the U.S. than there were in the 1930’s. Of the two million remaining farms, less than 570,000 are family operations.
Our industry is made up mostly of farms that have been passed down from generation to generation. I hope it stays that way. There are about 90 family strawberry farms in our area. It’s helpful that American’s are now supporting local and regionally produced agriculture. We can see, and more importantly, feel the support. Farmers are getting a lot of respect today from grocers, chefs and consumers. Maybe it’s the sign of the times. At any rate, it’s a good thing!