في كل مكان ونحن ننظر, نرى الأخبار السيئة: الإرهابيين جذري على طريق الحرب, المجازر في باريس وسان برناردينو, تباطؤ النمو الاقتصادي, a national debt that approaches $19 trillion, and a political class that seems out of touch with reality.

Theres a lot to complain about.

But this is the wrong time for that. Its the season of Christmasa moment for counting our blessings and expressing thanks for the good things that we often take for granted.

Thats why we should remember farmers and food production.

في 1900, roughly four in ten Americans worked in agriculture. اليوم, that figure is less than 2 نسبه مئويه, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In other countries, those numbers look very different. في الهند, half the population farms, according to the World Bank. In China, its close to 40 نسبه مئويه. Even Iceland, which we dont associate with food production, has two to three times as many people working in agriculture, as a percentage of total population.

This is a remarkable gift: We all need food to survive, but only a tiny fraction of us have to produce it here in the United States. Everyone else can pursue other objectives, from advanced education to careers in business, medicine, and charity.

The downside to this blessingsorry, even big silver linings have their cloudsis that much of the public has a poor understanding of what it takes to produce this bounty of food. و لهذا, we find ourselves bogged down in needless debates over warning labels for food products we eat every day, such as those produced with genetic modification.

Back to the good news: The key to our success is an astounding level of productivity. Todays farmers use the best tools of science and technology to get the most from the land and its resources.

Even the farm animals have it easier. في 1900, أكثر من 21 million animals contributed to farm labor. اليوم, we no longer live on George Orwells Animal Farm, where the barnyard denizens dream of revolution. في حين أن, weve mechanized. People still use horses and mules for farm work, but tractors outnumber them by so much that the Census Bureau no longer asks questions about animal labor.

The tractors are better, جدا. Theyre not only more efficienttheyre also more comfortable, precise and safer.

Ordinary consumers see none of this, but we farmers appreciate the upgrades. Its worth keeping in mind that if our farming grandparents could see what we have, theyd be in awe.

In makes me wonder about the gadgets my own grandkids will have when they work the land.

Another blessing is economic opportunity. We hear a lot about the global economy, usually in the context of anxieties and challenges. Its true that we now face more competitors than in the past. But thats the glass-half-empty way of looking at it. The glass-half-full version recognizes that we also have something else: lots of potential customers.

حول 95 percent of the world population lives outside our bordersand they need food, جدا. A century ago, الامريكى. farmers exported only a small portion of what they grew. اليوم, we ship huge amounts of grain and meat to other countries.

Although agriculture depends on exports more than most industries, the export economy creates opportunities for everyone. Thats why new free-trade agreements are so important: They make it easier for buyers and sellers to work together, without the political interference of protectionism.

Were even keeping up with the task of feeding the world, even as the planets population booms. We struggle with the nemesis of malnutrition, of coursebut were also worried about obesity, which is a problem that simply would have mystified earlier generations.

أفضل للجميع, were not fighting wars over food. We may have figurative conflicts over labels and trade, but were not dealing with literal battles over how we move food from farm to fork or fighting for our families because we have no food for them.

It may be a stretch to say we enjoy peace on earth in 2015, but because of farmers and food, we have a lot more peace to enjoy.

جون Rigolizzo, الابن. هو جيل مزارع الخامس, رفع الخضروات الطازجة والذرة الميدانية في جنوب نيو جيرسي. The family farm produces for retail and wholesale markets. John is a volunteer board member of الحقيقة حول التجارة & تقنية, soon to become the Global Farmer Network.

تابعنا: @TruthAboutTrade و World_Farmers onTwitter| الحقيقة حول التجارة & Technology onموقع التواصل الاجتماعي الفيسبوك.