As you sit down to dinner tonight, you may not think about where your food came from beyond your grocery store.
Farmers across Southeast Georgia produce food, fiber, and shelter for much of the nation and parts of the world. During National Peanut Month, Bureau Chief Dal Cannady will introduce us to some of the farmers helping make this happen. Thursday, we met Screven County's Ben Boyd as part of our series "Proud to Be a Farmer."
Ben Boyd and family have days before they start planting peanuts and other crops for the summer after a winter of growing wheat and rye. He bristles at the idea that farmers could do a better job.
"I tell you what, if General Motors was as efficient as the American farmer, Cadillacs would cost $15,000," he said.
They own part of the acreage they tend. The rest, they rent.
"We're spread over 50 miles from top to bottom, not in one place," Boyd said.
He wonders how such a mild winter will help or hurt his crops this year, or what other challenges will arise.
"We'll find something this year that we can't control, and we'll have trouble with that this year. By next year, we'll have that fixed but there'll be another thing," he said.
His family has been farming more than a century, going from mule and plow to GPS-guided tractors. Each generation has toiled to overcome whatever challenges they face, and produce crops to help feed the world.
"Half of the things we grow get put in a container and go to the ports in Savannah, so it's like our gateway to the whole world is right there," he said.
Boyd knows most consumers don't understand the struggles farmers face - just the crops that get to the supermarket and eventually their table. He's proud of what he and other farmers do that indirectly cultivate the rest of the nation.
"You have the freedom to be a doctor or lawyer because you don't have to stay home and grow your own food, because somebody else is doing it for you," he said.
It's something he plans to do for a long time.
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