Spotlight on Irish farming as the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day
By Diego Flammini, Farms.com
Green beer? Check.
Shamrock sunglasses? Check.
Kiss me I’m Irish t-shirt? Check.
At pubs, houses and other establishments throughout the world, green beer will be served, jigs will be performed, parades will be marched and there will be shamrocks aplenty as March 17th - St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated.
For the uninformed, St. Patrick is responsible for using a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) to the pagans and bringing Christianity to Ireland – which is sometimes described as St. Patrick driving the snakes away from Ireland.
However, Ireland provides much more than just a reason to wear green and drink coloured beer every March 17th.
Farming and agriculture play a large role on the Emerald Isle as is shown by the following stats from Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
- Ireland’s Gross Agricultural Output for 2013 was 7.26 billion Euros, equal to about $7.7 billion U.S.
- In 2012, agriculture was responsible for approximately 87,000 jobs
- 33,318 people were employed specifically by Ireland’s food sector in 2010
- About 139,000 family farms were reported in Ireland in 2010 with an average size of 32.7 hectares, or 80 acres
- Ireland’s 2011 total agricultural exports were more than 6.1 billion Euros which is equal to approximately $6.48 U.S.
- Their top export destination in 2011 was Great Britain with 2.4 billion Euros or $2.55 billion U.S.
- The United States imported 142 million Euros or $150 million U.S. worth of agricultural products
- Canada imported more than $1 million CAD in agricultural goods from Ireland in 2012.
Join the conversation and show us how you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.