Ag Dinner

The Greater Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored the Ag Dinner last night to recognize the families and individuals in our community who make their living in agriculture. 

It’s easy to overlook the impact agriculture plays in our local community and at the state level.  Missouri’s economy is struggling but I shudder to think how bad it might be if the state did not have a strong agricultural base. 

No matter the thoroughfare you choose to leave the city of Clinton you will pass acres of row crop and hundreds of head of cattle.  When you drive by one of those fields take a moment to think about the number of mouths the American farmer feeds. 

You should also recognize that as far as the farmer who owns the field is concerned the most important family being fed from the land is his or her own.  When you drive by the field you are in a sense driving by someone’s office.   The field is an overlooked place of business, it’s the factory the farmer uses to grow crops or support livestock and that factory needs to produce a profit to assure the farmers livelihood. 

Agriculture and health care are not that different.  Whether we want to admit it or not both farmers and health care providers are very dependent upon the federal government.  The government sets prices for agriculture just as it does health care, the government heavily subsidises both agriculture and health care, and both agriculture and health care are heavily regulated.  Farmers and health care providers alike must constantly evolve and determine how to do more with less and how to pay higher prices for supplies and technology with decreasing margins. 

Good farmers and good health care workers are similar as well.  Good farmers are stewards of the land and they continually refine practices and improve quality to improve yields.  Good health care workers provide patient centered care and they continually refine practices and improve quality to improve patient outcomes.  Good farmers and good health care workers will never be paid what they are worth but neither do it for the money.

Good farmers and good healthcare workers have a calling and they do what they do because they love it and they could never be truly happy doing anything else.  There are mediocre farmers just as there are mediocre health care providers, both are easy to recognize and hard to forget. 

You see it’s our nature to take for granted those people who do their job well because they make it look easy and they make it look easy because they care.  Those who don’t care are hard to forget because we care.  I know those two sentences may seem a little confusing but if you think about them awhile you’ll understand what I’m saying because we only have a bad experience when we care about the experience at all.

So let’s all pray for timely rains and a good fall.  We should also pray for more people who care, whether it be farmers or health care providers.

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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