My family and I had a great Fourth of July weekend. We enjoyed time together relaxing, grilling and lighting off some fireworks.

It just feels good to me every year to have time to celebrate the freedom we take for granted all year long. There are so many things that make America great.

One thing that really stands out as you drive into the country to find a place to shoot off fireworks, are the farms and the crops at this time of the year.

That's when you realize that farming is an important part of the country that's celebrating it's independence. Actually it was farming that started the country in the first place.

The founding fathers of our nation were farmers. George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were all farmers. I would like to share the following information given to me by John Larson of American Farmland Trust.

George Washington is often hailed for his leadership and statesmanship. But Washington always thought of himself first as a farmer. On his properties in Mount Vernon, Virginia, he kept precise agricultural records and adopted crop rotations to benefit his soil.

John Adams was a founding member of the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture, one of the first societies dedicated to the improvement of farming. After his presidency, Adams retired to his farm, known as Peacefield.

Thomas Jefferson was one of America's early conservationists and agronomists, pioneering practices that kept nutrients in the soil and minimized erosion, such as crop rotation and contour plowing.

Benjamin Franklin helped promote the sharing of agricultural knowledge between countries, printed a number of books on agriculture and botany, and suggested implementing crop insurance.