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I searched Webster tonight for the definition of community. Here is what their website said for the first definition listed:
1. a unified body of individuals

I feel there were some extremely specific pieces missing when I read through all of the definitions that were listed. You see, this past weekend I was able to witness community on so many different levels.

I think Webster is missing a few key words.

Generous-When there is a family in need, going through difficult times, or just in need of a pick me up. Our community is generous on many levels.  They open their pockets and give financial donations.  They share their talents and organize benefits and auctions.  They prepare baked goods to sell for profit with all proceeds going to the family in need. A prime example of this was at a benefit on Saturday for a local young man that was diagnosed with cancer.

Supportive-This weekend was my book signing for Tawanda's Tales: Best Friends Forever. I was overjoyed with the support that our local community showed me!  Some people that already had the book just stopped to visit, others stopped to buy another book, and some brought friends to purchase a book!

Encouraging-                                                                                                             My community not only exists locally, but I also have a network of community on social media. My friends on social media are so encouraging in my new endeavors and continue to cheer me on and share encouraging words via social media.

What does community mean to you? Any other words you would add to the definition?

From the gravel road-


Where does your food come from? If you are like several Americans you would answer-the grocery store. The grocery store plays a vital role in getting your food to you, but they are the distributor, not the producer.

On our farm we are small enough that we market our animals directly to the consumer, so the meat we produce doesn't go to the grocery store. After it is butchered it goes directly to the consumer. For example, this month we had four hogs butchered and we sold that meat to 12 different families to enjoy. I cannot even tell you how great that feels, knowing that local families are benefiting from our love of farming and producing a product for them to purchase.

The same process is used for the beef that we raise, we market the beef directly to the consumer, the animal is delivered to the locker, butchered, and the consumer works with the butcher to choose how they want their meat cut. Some people choose to make dried beef or beef sticks, while others just choose to get roasts, ground beef, and steak.

From beef and pork to corn and soybeans, farmers are working hard to produce a great product for their own families and yours.

It is extremely important to us that our children are involved in our operation and can help share the message about where their food comes from. I will never forget a perfect example of this, at the age of 4, Ellie was standing at the fair watching the animals be weighed in for the auction. A woman walking by asked what was happening. Our 4 year old explained the entire process to the woman right down to that fact that it is hard to let some animals go, but it is important that we have food. I am not going to lie, the woman had to pick her jaw up off of the ground and if you know our Ellie she didn't keep the conversation real short. She provided the woman everything she needed to know about producing beef for a consumer.

So, the next time you sit down with your family or guests, I ask you to please make sure your children (and adults) know where that meal on their plate came from. While the grocery store is a vital piece of the agriculture industry chain, please make sure they know ALL of the parts of that chain, especially the producer that put their heart and soul into the product.

Happy National Ag Day!

From the Gravel Road-


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