It’s worth pondering that we celebrate a national holiday crafted around the purpose of giving thanks. That Americans take this purpose to heart — as I believe most do — is a reflection of what’s noblest and best within us all.

We give thanks for all sorts of things — for the smell of roast turkey, for big plays in big games, for the family gathered, for safe travel, for God’s many blessings, for one more slice of pie.

Perhaps more than any other holiday, Thanksgiving places food at the center of celebration. On such a day, we reflect on our health, happiness, family, and friends. But we also give thanks for the good food on our table and the good earth that, quite literally, sustains us.

I’ve had the privilege to spend most of my professional life working with Maine farmers, the stewards of that good earth. Like many of you, I will feast this Thanksgiving on Maine turkey, squash, potatoes, onions, cranberries, apples, cheese, and more. I thank the farmers responsible for these products. And I thank everyone who supports Maine’s farmers.

If you read this column regularly, you know I weave farming into much of what I write. You’ve read about the opportunities and challenges facing farming in Maine. You’ve heard how farming in Maine is well-positioned for the future, but only if we take the right steps now. You’ve heard how farming’s promise demands that we protect more farmland and rebuild farm infrastructure, while supporting existing farmers and recruiting new ones.

I’ve written about the federal food safety regulations that could reverse all the gains we’ve made growing farming in Maine, by proposing to apply to small family farms rules suited for large corporate operations. I’ve also written about the difficulties facing dairy farmers, due to misguided federal policy; and about how the Maine Legislature can take important steps to help, but how that will only occur if more of us become informed and demand action.

Not all of what I’ve written about farming has been optimistic. And much of it has been complicated, because details about economics and public policy are complex.

But my message today is much simpler. I simply want to share my appreciation for Maine’s farmers and for all of you who buy Maine farm products and care about farming. Farmers are a big part of what Thanksgiving is all about. So are you. Thank you.

I wish you a great day of reflection and celebration — as well as a day of great Maine food!

John Piotti of Unity is president of Maine Farmland Trust. His column “Cedar and Pearl” appears every other week.