A Note from the Farmers’ Daughter – by KSB Board Member Katie Pratt

pratt_katie_5_11_14Last week I stopped by my parents’ farm for lunch. Dad came in from morning chores with his finger wrapped in duct tape. Just another farm injury, like so many others, taken care of with what was handy — duct tape, wire, twine, super glue. Growing up a farm kid, I’ve seen it all, and now I witness My Farmer’s (i.e., my husband’s) doctoring skills often.

My family often jokes about a farmer’s reluctance to see a doctor. But in reality, a farmer is just as concerned with health and well-being as the rest of us. KSB’s service area is primarily rural, and while many of us may not identify with farming as a career and business, agriculture plays a huge role in the county’s economy.

Recently, the Illinois Farm Bureau commissioned a study to assess the true impact agriculture has on our state’s and counties’ economies. It turns out, 835 farm families grow crops or raise livestock on 370,000 acres in Lee County. As is the case elsewhere, 96 percent of these farms are family owned and operated. Agriculture in Lee County employs over 16,500 people.

Just as KSB doctors are responsible for bringing patients the highest quality of care and services, so too are our local farmers responsible to the end-users of his/her commodity, as well as to the soil, water and wildlife who share those resources.

As a mother first, and a farmer second, I truly believe our knowledge of our food directly impacts our health. Because all food begins on a farm, knowing your farmer is important. This community is built on relationships, and I urge you to seek out a relationship with your farmer, just as you should with your KSB doctor. Both will be happy to shake your hand. Just don’t be surprised if there’s duct tape.

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