By Jennifer Dorsett

Ah, Christmas. A time to celebrate. A time of togetherness. A time to stop and be thankful for all the good in our lives.

This year, I’m especially thankful for Texas farmers and ranchers. I’m always grateful to them. But as I put a little more thought into it, I realized just how blessed we are to be right here in the Lone Star State, especially during the holiday season.

Without our farmers, we wouldn’t have many of our Christmas traditions.

Christmas trees. If you have a live tree, there’s a good chance it came from a Texas Christmas tree farm. But a Texas-style Christmas is about more than the tree. It’s about the experience and families sharing a special part of their year together. Texas Christmas tree farmers help make those lasting memories.

Sugar. All those Christmas cookies and candy we look forward to with a childlike expectancy each year? Without sugar, those goodies wouldn’t be near as tasty. A large percentage of pure cane sugar is still grown and refined right here in Texas.

Wheat. Those homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning? Tasty dinner rolls for your Christmas feast? They’re made from wheat. And Texas farmers grow both hard and soft winter wheat—varieties used to make yeast breads, hard rolls, cakes and pastries.

Beef, poultry, pork. Your holiday festivities aren’t complete without a little protein. Texas ranks number one in cattle production. So if you’re eating prime rib, steak or carne guisada, that beef might have been raised by a rancher right here in our great state. But our farmers and ranchers also raise poultry and pork. Even if the animal wasn’t raised in Texas, guess what? Its food might have been.

Corn is another top commodity grown in Texas. Field corn, used mainly for livestock feed, makes up more than 96 percent of corn grown in Texas.

Cotton. From the soft flannel pajamas we wear to the blankets we snuggle under in excited anticipation on Christmas Eve, cotton plays a large role. Even the coffee filter—so vital in our wake-up routines on Christmas morning—is made from cotton fibers. The money we use to buy those Christmas gifts is 75 percent cotton. And we’re the top cotton-producing state, making cotton king in Texas. That’s a white Christmas, indeed.

As you gather with your family this Christmas season and count your blessings, be sure to count Texas farmers and ranchers among them.

From all of us at Texas Table Top, Merry Christmas!