A FARMER’S BLACK FRIDAY

I have studied every Black Friday ad, made my list, and checked it twice.  I find some thrill in getting pushed around to save a few bucks.  It is often crazy this time of year, running about trying to find the best deal on the big screen TV or getting clothes 50% off. We frequently think more about marking all the items off the list rather than where they actually come from. I know I fall into the same category, rarely thanking the farmer.

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If you have ever experienced Black Friday shopping, you know it’s unlike anything else.  People will go to unrealistic lengths to get what they want.  Did you know the farmer is with you every step of the way?

While standing in line, waiting for the store to open, we need a big cup of coffee.  Not only does this drink give you caffeine for the rest of the night, but also it keeps you warm in what will be a 30-degree night.  Without the farmer, we would not have the refreshing coffee beans.

The store’s doors have opened and everyone is rushing in.  Our first goal is to grab the sale items and get to the cash registers.  With recent regulations retail stores no longer use plastic bags made from petroleum, they now use corn plastic!

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The new items have been stashed in the trunk and we jump in the car to head to the next store.  As we rev up the engine, have you ever considered what is fueling your vehicle?  Most often we fill up with gasoline containing 10% ethanol but more and more we are seeing 15-30% ethanol available.  If you own a Flex-Fuel automobile you can take advantage of E85.  This fuel is cheaper and supports the agriculture industry.

My favorite stop of the night is the breakfast run.  This often happens around 4 a.m. and nothing sounds better than an egg sandwich.  The items making the meal are often very relatable to the farm.  It is easy to see the eggs came from the chicken and the cheese from the dairy.  Although without these producers, what would be eat?

By the end of the night, or what may be early morning, everyone is exhausted.  It is time to hit the hay, or in most cases the cotton mattress.  This quilted material is grown and harvested to create your bed, sheets and clothing.

While heading out during the crazy hours of Black Friday or during the Christmas shopping season, look down at the bag you are carrying, and Thank A Farmer!

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Sarah LuceSarah Luce
University of Illinois student

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