Continuing with this month’s Ag-Thankful theme, Anna-Lisa Giannini share with us today why she is thankful for Agriculture. Anna-Lisa is Co-Founder of Beef on a Budget, AgBlogger, and a soon-to-be graduate of Oklahoma State University. She is very passionate about encouraging people to learn more about beef production by connecting with cooks in the kitchen through her “chef-on-a-shoestring” approach to cooking beef products. I hope you enjoy this California-raised Cattlewoman’s perspective of being Ag-Thankful this November.

America is the land of opportunity; Agriculture is the opportunity of the land.  Every morning when my feet hit the floor I thank God for American Agriculture. For the men and women who work day in and day out to provide food and fiber for all Americans and peoples worldwide. I am thankful for their humble lives and hard working lifestyles that allow me to enjoy life to the fullest each and every day.  These families, like my own, work hard day in and day out in service of others not because they have to, but because they choose to.  I am proud of American agriculture and thankful that American farmers are helping to feed a hungry world; but even more than that, I am thankful for the person that I am today because of the opportunities American Agriculture has afforded my family.

My Daddy’s Grandfather came to America from Switzerland in the very late 1800s.  In 1903 after spending some time milking cows around San Francisco, Grandpa Augustus bought the ranch that I was raised on.  My family has clung to our roots and Swiss-Italian tradition is part of our daily lives and especially Holidays.  Grandpa Gus was proud of becoming an American.  An example of this is that he wouldn’t allow his children to speak Italian because they were not Swiss; they were Americans.  He was also proud to be part of agriculture making his living ranching cattle in a similar manner that they did at home in the hills of Switzerland. A sense of pride in American Agriculture was instilled in Grandpa Gus’ children and has trickled down generations to my sister’s and my heart.

My Mamma’s family was involved in the agriculture industry too! As a young man, Grandpa Larry followed the fruit harvests in California and recalled the days of his childhood on the farms some of the happiest of his life. My grandfather went to work the family farm in Arkansas right after marrying my grandmother and that was where my mother was born.  Some of my Grandpa Larry’s favorite memories were on the farms in Arkansas and Oklahoma.    He was proud of his agriculture roots and was proud of his grandchildren’s involvement in agriculture.  The agriculture industry certainly afforded my family opportunity.

Thanksgiving is the holiday most associated with thankful hearts.  I personally love Thanksgiving for everything it stands for, from the little pilgrim statues that decorate the tables representing each grandchild, to the pumpkin pie and ravioli.  Ya know, I don’t remember a Thanksgiving that didn’t include morning chores, feeding cows, burning brush, cutting wood, or maybe branding calves.  This taught me the importance of working hard so that we have things to be thankful for.  From a young age I realized that in order for food to be on the dinner table hard work must be done to produce that food.  Thanksgivings are full of traditional foods, the tradition of each family member saying something they are thankful for, and the tradition of being together as one very large, very loud, very loving and very thankful family.  This Thanksgiving when you sit down to eat the foods your family loves to enjoy on Thanksgiving, be thankful for the families that are working hard to produce the food on your table.  We will be at our own tables giving thanks for the opportunity to work hard, live simply, and produce the food helping you to give thanks.

Want to hear more stories like this one? Tune in all this month for guest posts and more on the topic of being Ag-Thankful this November. Send me your ideas, thoughts, and comments on this page or by email (