Each American farm feeds about 165 people annually
By Diego Flammini
Agriculture’s contributions to everyday life will be celebrated tomorrow as part of National Ag Day.
The daylong, nationwide celebration thanks farmers for their efforts to provide the country with food, fuel and fiber.
So how does a farmer celebrate National Ag Day?
“I imagine many of them will celebrate the same way they celebrate every other day,” Colleen Klein, executive director of the New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association, told Farms.com today. “By putting in long hours and helping feed families in America and around the world.”
Klein expects many producers to use social media and the hashtag #NationalAgDay to post photos and videos of daily farm tasks. People outside of the farming community should also use the hashtag to develop a better understanding of production agriculture.
“Many people are unaware of where their food comes from, so it would be great on National Ag Day if people can reach out to farmers and ask questions,” she said. “Farmers work tirelessly to produce our food but there’s so much misinformation out there that people will believe without talking to a farmer. I hope tomorrow some consumers will connect with farmers.”
The ag industry will also celebrate its vast reach on National Ag Day.
Agriculture employed 21.4 million people 2016, according to the USDA. The industry also contributed $992 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2015.
Many people may think that agriculture only goes as far as the farm gate. But agriculture touches many industries.
“There’s so much that goes into agriculture aside from raising food,” Emily Bir, director of communications for the Ohio Pork Council, told Farms.com today. “This week we’ll be sharing information about modern pig barns. Ag Day is a great opportunity to tap into those subjects that don’t always get mentioned.”
Farm organizations will also use Ag Day to educate local lawmakers about production practices and how political decisions impact farmers.
“We need to help them understand the importance of agriculture,” Katie Olthoff, director of communications for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, told Farms.com today. “Many Iowans are three generations removed from the farm. The people making the decisions on what we do probably don’t understand how complicated some of the decision-making can be or the values farmers take into account when making those decisions.”