By Jessica Domel

For years, I’ve heard “American farmers are feeding the world.” And I never really thought much about it. It makes sense to me. They grow food. People eat food. Done.

But the logic of HOW this happens didn’t really hit home to me until this year when a pair of Texas rice farmers, Timothy Gertson of Wharton County, and Galen Franz of Victoria County, explained to me where their crop goes once it leaves the field.

It doesn’t go directly from a rice dryer to a store near you. Some of it heads directly to a Texas port, where it is then sold on the global market and transported to other nations across the globe.

In fact, about 80 percent of U.S. rice feeds hungry families in other countries.

That means every day American farmers and ranchers are working to nurture and cultivate crops not just for you and me, but for families in other nations and on other continents.

Of course, there’s still plenty of Texas-grown rice for you and me. I bought some in the grocery store just yesterday.

And it’s not just rice. American corn, cotton, sorghum, beef and hundreds of other crops and meats are sold around the globe.

Not only are they feeding families, farmers and ranchers across the globe are working to grow more with less.

Gertson and Franz told me on their operations, they use whatever technology they can–including laser-leveling and GPS–to conserve and preserve the water they use to grow their rice.

And they’re still feeding the world. Every. Day.