|The Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau wants residents to join the organization in recognizing National Ag Week, which runs from March 15th through the 21st this year.
The purpose of celebrating National Ag Week is to bring awareness of the role that agriculture plays in all of our lives. Whether you realize it or not, just about everything we eat, wear and use comes from agriculture.
It used to be that the majority of people who lived in rural areas were farmers and everyone understood the importance of the farmer's role. But things have changed. The importance of agriculture and the farmers' role in agriculture is still just as important now as it was back then, but the majority of people are no longer aware it or understand it.
Here are some facts that the Farm Bureau obtained from the Agriculture Council of America that we would like to share with you:
* Agriculture is America's #1 export.
* U.S. farmers produce more than 200 raw commodities yearly for domestic and export markets.
* U.S. farmers account for 46% of the world's soybean production, 41% of the world's corn production, 20.5% of the world's cotton production and 13% of the world's wheat production.
* Today, one farmer produces enough food to feed about 144 people each day. In 1960 that number was only 46.
* One fourth of the world's beef and nearly one-fifth of the world's grain, milk and eggs are produced in the U.S.
* Two out of every three bushels of corn in the world originate in the United States
* With modern methods, one acre of land in the US (about the size of a football field) can produce 42,000 lbs. of strawberries, 11,000 heads of lettuce, 25,400 lbs. of potatoes, 8,900 lbs. of sweet corn or 640 lbs. of cotton lint.
* Cotton is by far the most dominant fiber produced in the United State and is used for apparel, home fabrics as well as industrial uses.
* Farmers were the first environmentalists, maintaining and improving the soil and natural resources so that they can pass the land on to future generations. Farmers' livelihood comes from the soil. It only makes sense that they would take care of it and protect it.
Think about our food: where does it come from? It's amazing how many people, even from rural areas, don't realize where their food comes from or even gives it a second thought. If you ask people where their food comes from, most would say it comes from the grocery store. But how does it get to the grocery store? Who raises the food that is processed and packaged so that when we go to the store, we find the shelves packed with so many different food items to choose from?
It is our farmers and the agriculture industry that makes all of this possible for us! If it weren't for them, the shelves would be empty when we went to the grocery store. What if we had to on agriculture from other countries and import all of our food? How safe do you think our food would be? How much more expensive do you think our food would be?
We have all experienced having to pay higher prices at the grocery store. The rise in food prices stems mainly from transportation costs rising. But despite the rise in costs, we still have the most affordable food in the world. We pay roughly 10% of our income on food, compared with 22% in the UK, 26% in Japan, 28% in South Africa and 51% in India.
That is why the Farm Bureau wants to draw your attention to National Ag Week and remind everyone how fortunate we are to have American farmers who work to produce safe and affordable food for us and our families. And that is why Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau will continue to teach about the importance of agriculture. We have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to American agriculture, so let's not take it for granted.
(Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau)