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Breakfast sows seeds of appreciation for farmers

Tomorrow morning, as you dive into your bacon and eggs (or even Lucky Charms and chocolate milk) the Ohio Farm Bureau would like you to take a moment to think about the people who helped provide it: Local farmers.

For the second year, the bureau, in conjunction with the OSU Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation District, presented the Lawrence County Agricultural breakfast.

For just 40 cents, guests at Wednesday's breakfast at Marne Baptist Church could fill their plates with hash browns, fruit, muffins and more.

The cost wasn't arbitrary, but rather chosen as a way to raise awareness of the plight of local farmers.

"Basically, out of every food dollar the American farmer gets 19 cents," said Jill Smith, Organization Director for the Lawrence County Farm Bureau. "The meal we had today reflects that, everybody paid the farmers share, which of our meal today was 40 cents."

"It's basically reflective of how much work they do and how little money in return they are receiving for feeding the world."

Carrie Yaniko, the Education/Urban Coordinator for the Soil and Water Conservation District, illustrated the point with eggs, of which Ohio is the number one producer. Two eggs used in Wednesday's breakfast would retail for 17 cents, of which the farmer only sees three.

Yaniko said that she was also concerned about how little the younger generation understood about the work of area farmers.

"My mom teaches high school science, and one day they were talking about soy beans, how they're grown and things like that, and one little girl said, 'I thought they were made in a factory,'" Yaniko said. "That scares me to think that people really don't know where their food comes from."

Yaniko's anecdote is even more troubling when its taken into account that corn and soybeans are the top Ohio crops.

Two Lawrence County Commissioners were on hand to show their support for our agricultural organizations. George Patterson, commission president, said that he enjoyed fraternizing with the folks that provide Ohio with its number one industry.

"I come out here every year, you get to see a lot of your local farmers," Patterson said. "I don't think people realize how much we depend on the farmers, and how much they really do for the economy of this county."