Thank A Farmer

by John Riggio

What would we do without farmers? How would we have food to eat? Chances are the food on your table or favorite restaurant came from a farm or ranch. Yes, there are exceptions, like if you eat from your own garden, or you catch your own fish, etc. But let's face it – farming is very important. And farmers deserve to be appreciated.

With few exceptions, farmers don't take a day off. Cows need to be milked every day, even on weekends and holidays. Animals need food every day, rain or shine. Farmers plant crops and take care of the land for future generations. It's not just a job, it's a way of life.

This incredibly grand and majestic piece honors these hardworking people to whom we owe so much. Sung entirely in unison, the melody isn't too difficult, but there are some progressions with accidentals, so we have flute, clarinet, horn, and trumpets playing the melody on our recording to help your students. Lyrically, you'll see that we have included parenthetical options for a few of the pronouns in case you want to switch or alternate them.

If you use this song for performance, consider having some or all students dress like farmers or ranchers: overalls, denim, farmer's aprons, bandanas, sun hats or cowboy hats, work gloves, rubber boots, cowboy boots, etc. If you wish, you could tie this to a special occasion, like Farmworker Appreciation Day (August 6) or National Farmer Day (October 12), though it certainly isn't necessary. And by all means, if your students know a farmer or rancher personally, encourage them to thank them for all they do!

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.