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Home for Thanksgiving takes on new meaning in 2020

Vox Pop

As I reflect on the coming holiday season, I know this Thanksgiving will be different for most this year. Celebrations will not include 50 family members happily crowded into one house. There cannot be four generations sitting around the table sharing a meal, telling stories, and playing games. I (along with many others) wish this holiday season were different, but I understand we need to make these difficult choices now for our individual health, for the health and safety of those we love, and for our state.

That said, for our farm families, some holiday traditions will stay the same in 2020. Parents and children across Wisconsin will wake up before dawn to milk their cows. Milk haulers will still drive down town roads, emptying bulk tanks and hauling full loads to our cheese processors. Grocery store workers will restock their shelves with canned goods and fresh produce, ensuring that shoppers have what they need for their families. As they have throughout the pandemic, many agricultural and food workers will be on the job this Thanksgiving.

Throughout this past year, it has become even clearer to me that we have so much to be thankful for in Wisconsin. Most years, I would emphasize how lucky we are to have Wisconsin-grown turkey, potatoes, green beans, or cranberries; this year, Thanksgiving is about so much more.

As COVID-19 continues to spread in our state, I am consistently impressed with our robust and diverse food supply chain. We have dedicated farmers who are growing diverse crops and raising livestock. We have processors transforming these crops into products that are world-renowned for their quality. We have a complex distribution system, able to quickly move fresh,