When you picked up your spoon to eat some food today, did you think about where the food came from?
Did you make a connection as you ate a bowl of cereal to the dairy and grain farmer?
Or the hay or grain the dairy cow ate?
Or the fact the grain and hay grew in the soil?
We sometimes take for granted it is so easy to go to the grocery store to buy our food.
But it's a long process to get the food from the soil to the grocery store shelf.
National Soil Stewardship Week lasts through Sunday, and the theme this year is, "Soil to Spoon."
Keeping the soil healthy is a primary focus of the agency I work for, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Our agency is working hand-in-hand with Indiana's 92 Soil and Water Conservation Districts every day to help farmers and private landowners improve soil health and protect natural resources.
The world population is on the rise, while agricultural land is shrinking.
A careful balance will be required to make more room for more people, while at the same time, more food to feed those people.
Healthy soil and good conservation choices can ensure we have the resources we need for now and for generations to come.
Making the connection back to the soil, where our food gets its start, is so important.
The next time you sit down to a meal, take a minute to think about where your food came from, and the farmers and ranchers who helped produce it.
As they work to produce food for the growing population, Indiana's farmers are dedicated to using responsible land-management practices to ensure a sustainable food supply and healthy land and soil for future generations.
Please join me in thanking our local agriculture producers for their role in caring for the land, while providing the food and fiber for our nation and the world.
National Soil Stewardship Week reminds us of our personal and social responsibility to care for the natural resources for which we all depend.
There is a Soil and Water Conservation District in each county in Indiana where NRCS and other partnership staff are available to serve you and help you make the connection between soil and the food we eat.
The Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District is located at 955 W. Craig Ave., Brazil.
Please stop by the office or call them at 448-1108 Ext. 3.