It's Thanksgiving, and there is a lot to be thankful for this holiday.

That includes the farmer.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are 2.2 million farms that dot America's rural landscape - and 96 percent of them are family operations.

Here's more: Farmers are the direct lifeline to more than 21 million American workers who produce, process and sell the nation's food and fiber. They are an essential component in keeping the nation secure. The residents who live across rural America are vital in the nation's future.

They help export more than $115 billion worth of U.S. agricultural products around the world.

So, thank a farmer when you have dinner today. Americans enjoy an abundant, affordable and safe food supply, largely thanks to the efficiency and productivity of America's farm and ranch families.

Kansas Agland Editor Amy Bickel's agriculture roots started in Gypsum. She has been covering Kansas agriculture for more than 15 years. Email her with news, photos and other information at abickel@hutchnews.com or by calling (800) 766-3311 Ext. 320.

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