Have you ever wondered where your food came from, how it was grown and who grew it? Did you know that in America, only two percent of the population grows the food so that the other 98 percent can be free to earn their living and do the things they like to do?
My name is Laura Rutherford and I am a wife, a mother and a marathon runner. I am also a ninth generation farmer. My husband and I, along with our three young sons, grow sugarbeets, potatoes, dry beans, and wheat on our family farm. My family is part of that 2 percent, along with our friends and neighbors here in the Red River Valley region of North Dakota.
I am passionate about food quality, safety and nutrition—both what my family eats and what we produce for others to eat. For nearly two hundred years, my forefathers worked hard with only rudimentary equipment. Their horses and hoes more often than not produced mixed results and low yields. There were no tools available to fight insects and disease, and no other fertilizer available except animal manure which carried pathogens, was difficult to apply and had uneven results.
My ancestors would marvel at how far we’ve come and what we can do in agriculture today. However, even with the wonderful resources available to us now, such as plant hybrids, synthetic fertilizer and GE technology, farming is still a challenging profession. It takes long days, sleepless nights and a large debt load to get your food from our field to your table. We spend our summers fighting the good fight against insects, weeds, diseases and other pests, and during unpredictable weather conditions. We are constantly looking for new ways to be more efficient and produce a high quality product for American consumers. However, when I listen in on the collective food fight taking place in this country, it makes me wonder—how is it that folks simply cannot wait for innovation in everything else in their lives, except for their food?
Even with all of its ups and downs, farming is a way of life that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. There is no better feeling than providing consumers with high quality sugar that was grown on our family farm here in the Valley.
American consumers and their families are very important to me and my family and that is why I decided to enter the blogosphere. I want to connect with consumers in order to talk about American agriculture and the issues that farmers and consumers face together. I want to tell the story of my family farm and all of the other family owned and operated sugar beet farms in North Dakota and throughout the United States. I want to hear the stories of people who buy our product.
When it comes to agriculture, there are a lot of questions, a lot of controversy and a lot of misinformation out there. It’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not, thanks to fearmongering activists from non-agricultural backgrounds who want to drive a wedge between American farmers and the consumers we serve.
That’s why my blog is called “The Sweet Truth.” American consumers deserve to be told the truth and to have confidence that the food they eat is high quality. The truth is, American farmers are the most efficient producers in the world, and the most safety conscious. The truth is, American farmers won’t grow anything for your family that we wouldn’t feed to our own families. The sweet truth is, American consumers and American farmers share the same values and want the same things.
Take a seat at my table and see the faces and the farms behind each bag of American sugar you purchase at your local grocery store, so you can take pride in our product and buy with confidence. We’re all in this together.