Ag Biz News Column
County Extension Agent –Ag/NR
Thank a Farmer
In America and living here in Texas, we have a lot to be thankful for. We are all involved in Agriculture if we eat, wear clothes, and have a roof over our heads throughout most of our day. While most of us are consumers of Agriculture, take time to thank a farmer because without their hard work, we would be without the necessities of life—food, fiber, and shelter.
Texas is one of the nation’s top states in total Agriculture production. Below are the top ten reasons to thank a farmer. Number ten: the American people spend only 10% of their incomes on food. This is the lowest percentage of any country.
Number nine: the world’s population will grow from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050. Farmers will need to double food production to keep pace. Technology is not a negative in food production. By using technology and research, our farmers and ranchers can produce a safe food supply today that is also environmentally friendly using less water, less fuel, fewer pesticides, and higher yields. Technology does not take away from sustainability but enhances it.
Number eight: only 210,000 full-time U.S. farmers produce 80% of our food and fiber. Farmers and ranchers are stewards of the land. They take care of their land, livestock, and crops. It’s a fact that you must properly care for your animals in order for them to be productive, which is exactly what ranchers do on a daily basis. U.S. farmers were going green well before going green was cool.
Number seven: most farms are family-owned enterprises. These farmers brave exceptional risk and tight margins. Farming and ranching are professions in which you do not get days off for bad weather and they usually do not have set hours. Many farmers and ranchers work long hours from sun rise to sun set and do not stop just because it is raining, snowing, or a holiday.
Number six: for every dollar spent on food, farmers receive less than 12 cents for the raw products. The cotton shirt, leather shoes and wool coat you wear, wood chair you sit on and cereal you enjoy for breakfast all begin with agriculture.
Number five: the average U.S. farmer feeds 155 people. Farmers have always looked for ways to preserve their resources, such as water and land, because they depend on
these resources to operate. Farmers and ranchers live on the land they farm. They breathe the air, drink the water, and depend on the land for their livelihood.
Number four: the U.S. farmers produce about 40% of the world’s corn. Supporting domestic agriculture prevents us from relying on foreign food sources where safety standards may be less rigid.
Number three: Agriculture employs more than 24 million Americans. That makes Agriculture one of the leading employers across our country. In Texas, that equates to 1 of every 7 working Texans (14%) is employed in an ag-related job. Young people should consider agriculture as a career choice as they decide on their future.
Number two: farmers endure drought, heat, rain, wind, snow, hail and tornadoes to bring food to America’s tables. Farmers and ranchers are also consumers and they are dedicated to producing a safe and wholesome product for your dinner table and theirs.
Number one: American’s enjoy a food supply that is abundant, affordable, and among the safest. Farming and ranching families are responsible and devoted to the future of food production in America. The agriculture industry is one of the most highly-regulated industries in our country. There are multiple safeguards in place to ensure the safety of our food. The fact that we’ve had recalls says that we have high standards in place that require food to be checked several times before reaching the consumer and even after it hits the retail market. The system works! Take time to thank a farmer today.
Information also provided by Texas Proud of Texas Agriculture at http://texasproudoftexasag.com/ . Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.