Yesterday was Earth Day. All over social and mainstream media, talking heads introduced ways in which the average person can help protect the land and “be green.”
And there’s nothing wrong with that. We all live on this planet and are, therefore, all responsible for its upkeep.
For more than 40 years, the Earth Day Network has been calling Americans’ attention to the need for “being green.” According to EarthDay.org, “the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed.”
But, long before 1970, American farmers were employing green initiatives. And those initiatives persist to this day. In fact, I would happily argue that farmers were the original environmentalists — and I’m certainly not alone in my thinking. Take a look:
Images like these popped up all over the internet yesterday, reminding anyone who would listen that farmers work, day-in and day-out, to protect the land. Not because it’s the in thing to do right now, but because they rely on that land to provide for their families and yours.
Want to get a better idea of just what kind of “green” things farmers and ranchers do? Check out that last image, provided by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
What’s more, farmers regularly participate in conservation programs available through the USDA Farm Service Agency, have employed no-till practices in order to reduce topsoil erosion, decreased water use by increasing efficiencies, improved air and water quality by effectively managing nutrients put on their fields and decreased the application of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides through the use the use of genetically-modified crops.
Why do they do it now? Why have they always done it? I think the image above, from www.RealRanchers.com, says it best:
This is our office and our home. This land is where we sweat, cry and rejoice. We are here to protect this land on Earth Day and every day.