Why celebrate National Ag Day?

atetodaythankafarmer

Where does your food come from? If you said the grocery store you better guess again.

With today being National Ag Day, we ask that you take a moment to be thankful for the thousands of American farm families who spend most of their lives working to ensure that consumers like us have access to an abundant, affordable and safe supply of food, feed, fuel and fiber.

Americans are truly blessed with the choices they have when it comes to food and most of it is made possible by a group of people who make up less than 2% of the population. These people who we call farmers work each and every day, ensuring we have food on our table tomorrow.

But it’s more than just food. Farmers are producing feed for livestock, clean and renewable fuel for your car and fiber that can be made into clothes, carpet and hundreds of other products.

If that doesn’t put the importance of agriculture into perspective, take a second to view this great graphic that’s been spread across Facebook the last couple of weeks with an image of a farmer with the quote…

“My grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman and a preacher, but everyday, three times a day, you need a farmer,” – Brenda Schooep

This pretty much sums it up folks. Our lives depend on farmers and the land they care for every day. With most people not involved in agriculture it’s easy to take our next meal for granted, but it’s important to understand and appreciate what goes into making it all possible.

How do so few people provide food, feed, fuel and fiber for so many? Through innovation, investment, education and research that has led to improvements in things such as biotech seeds, precision steering and application tools that optimize inputs, an increase in reduced tillage, an increase in cover crops and many other conservation practices.

So what have these changes meant for agriculture and the environment? In just the last 30 years corn farmers have drastically reduced energy use, erosion, emissions, fertilizer use, pesticide use and other inputs while increasing yields by 101%.

Today’s modern farmers are more efficient, productive and sustainable than ever.

Now that’s something to celebrate.

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