Mary Franson remains steadfast in her objections to Earth Day and a prayer urging environmental stewardship, but has somehow overlooked an important ally's embrace of Sunday's civic celebration. Indeed, that hotbed of pagan radicalism, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation "encourages everyone to recognize every day as Earth Day" in a statement posted today.
Just as shocking to Franson's sensibilities, MFBF President Kevin Paap, a Blue Earth County grain farmer, claims that Minnesota's farmers already practice this belief in their ordinary devotion to the soil:
"In agriculture, every day is Earth Day. April 22 is the day where we emphasize the importance of our natural resources and share agriculture's story," said MFBF President Kevin Paap. "As farmers, we pride ourselves in caring for our water, air, land and its resources. Conserving and protecting the earth for your children and ours is our top priority."
"Today's farmers produce food, fiber, feed and renewable fuel using techniques such as global positioning satellites and biotechnology," said Paap. "The Minnesota Farm Bureau is proud of the dedication and hard work of our farmer and rancher members who care for our natural resources while producing a quality, safe food supply."
"More than 1.5 million acres in the state are enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)," said Paap. "Farmers are involved in numerous conservation efforts with the goal of protecting the environment and providing habitat for wildlife."
Bluestem isn't surprised, given that the word "pagan" entered the English language in the 14th century from "L.L. paganus "pagan," in classical Latin "villager, rustic, civilian," from pagus "rural district..." Bluestem has been to the Paap farm near Garden City, Minnesota, an area that's pretty rural.
We do worry, however, that Franson might become worried about how dependent wildlife has gotten from those habitat handouts, since like SNAP assistance, conservation reserve programs are run by the USDA.
The Farm Bureau Federation's request that everyone treat everyday like Earth Day went far beyond the recognition the day by Land Stewardship Project, which held a breakfast at the Red Stag Supper Club, which donated some of the till this morning to LSP. LSP is generally considered more left-leaning than those happy pagans in the MFBF.
Image: Franson's Crackers, by Tild