By Julie Tomascik

Soil, seeds, sunlight and water. Add farmers, and you have the ingredients for growing a crop.

That’s a simplified version, though.

In reality, farming is ever changing to improve yields and efficiencies. Farmers must balance fertilizer, fuel, adverse weather, labor, water—or lack thereof—and countless other inputs.

But technology, crop protection and crop diversity help make farmers more efficient and productive.

Each day, farmers and ranchers care for the land, animals, natural resources and their families. They have a desire to succeed, the drive to innovate and a passion for growing things.

They have faith when times are tough. They face adversity head on. They are determined and always evolving to satisfy the needs of consumers.

And despite the unpredictable nature of farming, they remain optimistic.

Today is National Farmers Day. It’s a day to recognize their contributions to our state and nation.

The conversations around today’s celebration of National Farmers Day also include you and me—their consumers. Because without buyers, nothing is for sale.

As a consumer, your opinions matter, and you make decisions with your dollars.

Farmers and ranchers understand and appreciate that. But they ask that you stay open-minded and build relationships with them. That you understand the difference between myth and fact and see beyond the marketing gimmicks that bombard us all.

They want you to know they are family farmers and ranchers. They’re not a faceless company. Their families depend on the farm’s profitability for financial security.

Farming and ranching is a job they take seriously.

What they do fuels Texas and America. In the Lone Star State, one in every seven employed Texans has a job related to agriculture. Like engineering, mechanics, education, science, communication, agronomy, welding and so many more.

Together, all those folks help farmers get their crops to the grocery store in products we purchase and use every day.

And remember, there’s a farmer, a family and a way of life down every aisle.