Insight: Full bowls and football

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By Glenn Brunkow, Pottawatomie County farmer and rancher

As I watched the Super Bowl, it occurred to me this is a truly American event only Americans really get. It is a sporting event that is really a national holiday where we celebrate commercials and eat ourselves into oblivion. For most of us the game is the third attraction. Only in the United States would we use the last football game of the season for a reason to gorge ourselves on food we would normally not eat.
As I thought about all of this it occurred to me, the biggest MVPs of the Super Bowl are really us, the farmers and ranchers who are responsible for this impressive spread. I know the MVP of the Super Bowl is generally a superstar quarterback who makes more money than any of us will ever see, but I would argue the men and women responsible for all the appetizers, chips and dips, and desserts are the true stars.
We take food for granted. Sure, the pandemic helped make consumers aware of how important and fragile the food supply is, but most of the time we forget just how good we have it. That is because as farmers and ranchers we have done such a tremendous job of growing food and fiber that consumers have become accustomed to having an array of available sustenance anytime they want it. In the case of our Super Bowl parties, we can find food we didn’t even know we needed.
What we are celebrating during the Super Bowl is not the best two teams of the NFL. What we are really celebrating is the abundance that American agriculture provides our great nation. We are celebrating the vast variety and abundance we all have grown to expect in the grocery store. Shelves and shelves with choices we often take for granted.
I know most of us don’t do this for recognition, we are just doing our jobs. But do you know what? We are the best in the world at what we do. No other nation produces as much food or utilizes its resources as well as we do here in the United States. We may not be paid millions of dollars like the superstars we watch in the Super Bowl, but we are just as good. That is something to be proud of.
We may never be the MVP of the big game or get a championship ring for what we do, but I do know one thing for sure. The Super Bowl would be just another game without the wings, sliders and other snacks. The commercials would be just more annoying breaks between the game if it were not for the meat and cheese trays, veggies, and cookies. Do you know what? Those of us who produce all that great food really are the MVPs. At least in my book we are.

Editor’s note: Insight is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau. Glenn Brunkow is a Pottawatomie County farmer and rancher.