Celebrate National Ag Day–March 19

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HayAg Biz News Column
Chad Gulley
County Extension Agent—Ag/NR
Smith County

 

National Ag Week

 National Ag Week is March 17-23, 2013.  National Ag Day is March 19, 2013.  During this time, we should all take a moment to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture.  As the world population continues to soar, there is an even greater demand for the food, fiber, and renewable resources produced in the United States.

The role Agriculture plays in our everyday lives is substantial.  Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use or wear on a daily basis.  Agriculture is essential to maintaining a strong economy.  Farmers, ranchers, and consumers have a symbiotic relationship.  In the month of February, we recognized Texas Food Connection Week.  National Ag Week is a national celebration of American Agriculture in March annually.

Land is the basis for most Agriculture ventures.  Gardens, livestock, trees, and more are produced by farmers and ranchers being good stewards of the land.  The American farmer and rancher produce good wholesome food, fiber and renewable resources that are safe, abundant, and affordable.  Technology through research helps them use the best management practices to produce wholesome products we use daily.

Soil testing is an important component in a successful lawn, garden, or pasture.  A soil test helps the manager determine what nutrients are present or lacking and at what levels in our soil.  This allows us to make adjustments to pH and nutrient levels needed by the plants that are desired in this area.

According to the Agriculture Council for America, each American farmer today feeds 144 people.  This is an increase from 25 people fed by an American farmer in the 1960’s.  American farmers are doing more and doing it better.

Today there are numerous career opportunities in Agriculture.  It is estimated that over 22 million people work in an agriculture related field.  There are over 200 career choices in today’s agriculture for people to consider.  These career fields are divided into the following categories:  Agribusiness Management, Agricultural and Natural Resources Communications, Building Construction Management, Agriscience, Resource Development and Management, Parks, Recreations, and Tourism Resources, Packaging, Horticulture, Forestry, Food Science, and Fisheries/Wildlife.  Under each of these categories are numerous career choices.

American farmers and ranchers put in numerous hours each day to raise our fruits, vegetables, and livestock.  These farmers and ranchers do not get to take off because of inclement weather or holidays.  Most work long hours to insure the job gets done.  American farmers and ranchers are good stewards of the land and livestock that are under their care.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, today’s farmers produce 262 percent more food with 2 percent fewer inputs (labor, seeds, feed, fertilizer, etc.), compared with 1950.  In 2010, $115 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported around the world. The United States sells more food and fiber to world markets than we import, creating a positive agricultural trade balance.   Americans enjoy a food supply that is abundant, affordable overall and among the world’s safest, thanks in large part to the efficiency and productivity of America’s farm and ranch families.

Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.

 

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