Thursday, April 22, 2010

Every day is Earth Day to a farmer

It's the 40th anniversary of Earth Day -- and you only thought you had the day off. Earth Day, to inspire awareness and appreciation of the environment, was started by former Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson and first recognized on April 22, 1970.

It's going to be day of speeches and rallies on college campuses and elsewhere, and, no doubt, the A list celebrities in Hollywood will stop flying around in their fuel-guzzling Gulf Stream jets long enough to discuss recycling, going green, clean energy, global warming, the fragile ozone and the like.

But you know who does more for Earth Day than anyone I can think of? Those guys eating lunch in small-town diners today, with mud on their boots, worn jeans, shirts and gimme caps. Who does more for Earth Day 365 days a year than the farmer?

He tills and waters the land, grows wheat, milo, cotton, soybeans, corn, and nurtures and cares for the soil like no other. Certainly more so than a Tinsletown celeb. Every day is Earth Day to a farmer.

Why is Earth Day celebrated on April 22? Well, maybe it's just coincidence, but it's the birthday of the late Eddie Albert, who played the frustrated farmer Oliver Douglas in the "Green Acres" sit-com from the late 1960s-early 1970s. In real life, Albert was a staunch environmentalist and spokesperson for National Arbord Day Foundation.

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