By David Strecker, SJFB President
Each day in grammar school we would begin the day with the pledge of allegiance. When meetings and assemblies are held, we say that same pledge of allegiance:
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
It is a very simple pledge to make and very easy to memorize. What many people fail to do is to understand it and believe in it and stand for it. We say words like, “liberty, justice, indivisible. Many forget that the definition of those words is NEVER given to you. If you do not stand, if you do not speak, those words can be very easily TAKEN from you.
When you drive through the farms and ranches of San Joaquin County you see many of the ranchers and farmers proudly displaying the flag of the United States of America. I know when our flag is being displayed on private property, the owners truly believe in what it stands for. One of the most troubling things I heard the past few months was how much our democracy was being threatened. We are not a democracy, we are a republic. How can something be taken away from you when it was never something you had? What is happening right now is our republic is being taken away from us.
I’m not writing an article to talk about civics, politics or anything other than agriculture. My fear is if our country loses its status as a republic that stands for liberty and justice for all, we all lose our ability to do our livelihoods.
San Joaquin Farm Bureau has always stood for the right of the farmers and ranchers. Many times we are very successful in advocating for agriculture, sometimes we are not as successful. For everything I have witnessed over the last few months, I took the time to remember how this nation was formed. Before George Washington was elected the first president of the United States he was general in the Army. As a patriot, he fought many battles to achieve the freedoms and liberties of the United States of America. What we forget is that he lost more battles than he won. As a patriot, he never deterred from the ultimate goal, FREEDOM!
As a country we must all stand together and fight for to keep our freedom and liberties. As an agricultural organization, we must all stand together as members trying to achieve the ultimate goal, the freedom and liberties to farm and ranch doing what we love to do. The only thing harder than achieving something, is keeping it. Farm Bureau’s job fighting for agriculture will never be done. It is important that we keep standing together and fighting together for our livelihoods and keep it forever.