Good Sunday morning, everyone! I was in a meeting last week with Vicki Haugen, the president and CEO of Vermilion Advantage, and something she said stuck with me.

She sincerely said that every job matters, there is no job to small or insignificant.

So, I started thinking about what it takes to get the food on the shelf for you to purchase. We take this procedure for granted every day. How often do we say, I’m going to run into the store and get a gallon of milk, without thinking about what it even took to get it there.

Now I’m picking milk for more than one reason. It is one of those things we seem to run out of and must go back for, kind of like bread, too.

The other reason is I was raised in the country. We didn’t raise cows, but my Uncle Willard and Aunt Betty did at one time. I remember going there and watching them finish milking a cow and pouring it through a strainer to catch the cream. I have that vision in my head like it was yesterday, it was so impressive to me then.

These days milk is a bigger production. So big that there are dairies in all 50 states. These cows are milked twice a day and using milking machines that only takes minutes.

A cow can produce about seven gallons of milk each day, which is about 400 glasses of milk. Each batch is tested before it is pumped into the bulk tank and within 24 hours it is taken to a processing plant in a sterilized tanker.

For every food product in our stores, not just the milk, we need to thank our farmers.

And then we ship these items to the production plants and then to the stores. Where would we be without those semi-truck drivers, who put in long hours just to bring us our favorite things.

There is so much that happens from the farm, to the factory, to get it to our homes. Millions of people putting in time and dedication and I hope, pride in their jobs. Making your life easier and enjoyable.

So next time you’re at the grocery store, thank that young man who just brought in carts, so you didn’t have to. Thank that clerk stocking shelves so your favorite item is there for you when you come in.

This list could go on and on, I think you get my point. Let’s not take anyone for granted, we all need each other.

Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.

Sherri M. Askren is president of United Way of Danville Area, Inc., 28 W. North St., Danville, IL 61832. Phone: 442-3512

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