Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Celebrating Agriculture

It’s Time To Celebrate Agriculture
03/15/2010 01:14PM

Agriculture has challenges ahead in spades. From individual farm profitability concerns to increasing government regulation on virtually every front to the endless battle against insidious and overt activist group messages, there’s no shortage of issues that pile up.

Still, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s young farmers and ranchers survey conducted last month, despite the challenges, 80 percent of those responding to its 18th annual survey say they are more optimistic than they were five years ago, while 82 percent say they are better off than they were five years ago.

That’s because agriculture remains a huge economic engine from one end of the country to another. The details of this success offer some excellent points to share about agriculture during this National Agriculture Week. This celebration of all things agricultural offers an excellent chance to counteract some of the negativity swirling around production agriculture.

For example, I bet most people don’t know that agriculture employs more than 22 million American workers, or about 17 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Or that agriculture generates 20 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, that agricultural land provides habitat for 75 percent of the nation’s wildlife, that American consumers spend just 9.3 percent of their annual income on food — the lowest percentage in the world, and that individuals, family partnerships or family corporations operate 99 percent of U.S. farms. Read More

So many times we get wrapped up in the stress of farming and ranching and forget to enjoy it. We have so much to celebrate in agriculture. Food has never been raised more efficiently or safer than it is right now. For ten thousand years humans have been genetically enhancing their crops and livestock, along with learning how to process and store the harvest. So what better time to celebrate this feat than during National Ag Week! If you’ve never taken the opportunity to visit with someone about where their food comes from, this week would be a great time to start.

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