Some farmers have personal connections to the military
By Diego Flammini
In recognition of Veterans Day, Americans paused over the weekend to thank those who served in the military.
Veterans Day differs from Memorial Day celebrations.
Memorial Day honors military personnel who died in the line of duty, while Veterans Day honors all who have served in the military, whether in times of war or peace.
With that at top of mind, Farms.com spoke with members of the U.S. ag community to give them a chance to thank our veterans.
Personal connections to the military make this Veterans Day extra special for some producers.
“Our Minnesota farm would like to thank the active troops and veterans who have served to protect our country,” Jamie Beyer, a soybean producer from Wheaton, Minn., told Farms.com. “Last year, our farm family lost Gerald Best who proudly served in the U.S. Marines.
“Gerald was a meticulous mechanic, quick-witted, and fiercely loved his family. On this Veterans Day, we honor Gerald's memory and the sacrifices that he and his family made to protect all of ours.”
Tom Bernhardt, a cash crop producer from Linton, N.D., also has personal ties to the military.
His father Tony served in the Korean War.
“I respect anyone who chooses to put on the uniform and travel to places where you know you might be in danger,” Tom told Farms.com. “My dad served, and I had some uncles that did too, so Veterans Day is always special when I get to spend time with my dad and hear stories.”
Farmers without connections to the military also highlight the importance of this day.
Alan Meadows, president of the Tennessee Soybean Association, never had a family member enlist in the military. But he is thankful for the families that raised veterans.
“Nobody close to me was ever in the army,” he told Farms.com. “All I can say is thank you to the people who enlist in the military, and their families for raising such strong men and women. It can’t be easy watching a loved one go away for months at a time.”
The USDA also has a close tie to Veterans Day and the First World War.
The agriculture department lost 69 employees during the conflict.
And Secretary Perdue served as an Air Force Captain from 1971 to 1974.
He’s one of about 2,200 USDA employees who served in the Vietnam War.
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