Every Day is Agriculture Day
Happy National Agriculture Day! On March 15th, universities, organizations and individuals from across the United States will celebrate the role that agriculture plays in our everyday lives. Having an agricultural background, the strangest phrase that I’ve ever been told is, “I really don’t have any connection to agriculture at all.” Knowing the diversity of agriculture, and everything that it has to offer, I think it’s important that we know that we all play a role in agriculture and that we all should be celebrating Agriculture Day!
The first thought that comes to most individuals minds when you bring up the word “agriculture” is the idea of the farmer, driving a tractor through his fields. Though this is an important aspect, more than 21 million workers in America (or about 15% of the workforce) is employed in the agricultural industry. Opportunities include careers in Park and Recreation Management, health-care and pharmaceutical packaging and food science.
This is also a great time for consumers to get involved in the agricultural industry because it provides a variety of choices. Grass-fed or grain-fed, all natural or organic, we are able to take advantage of each option because the hard working farmers and ranchers who dedicate themselves to our industry. Not only are these farmers and ranchers producing a variety of products for us to enjoy, there are also producing more with less. According the American Farm Bureau, today’s farmers produce 262 percent more food with 2 percent fewer inputs (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.), compared with 1950.
Not only should we be celebrating agriculture in the United States, but worldwide as well. This past January, I was able to travel to South Africa with the National FFA Organization. During our 10 day stay, we were able to tour many different agricultural operations, including a family owned dairy, and even one of the top 5 producing farms in the country! My travels made me realize that agriculture is advancing all over the world!
Even though March 15th may be the official day of National Agriculture Day, it’s important that we celebrate the industry that feeds the our nation, and every nation around the world, everyday. So whether it’s sitting down to a meal, putting on that cotton shirt, or planting a new set of flowers to mark the beginning of spring, go out, and celebrate agriculture!
If you’d like to learn more about National Agriculture Day, visit (http://www.agday.org)