Saturday, January 28, 2012
I went to a Farmer's Share breakfast this morning where breakfast is served for the cost of what the farmer gets from the production of the raw products in the meal. This is usually sponsored by a Farm Bureau group in our state and it was this morning, too, the Clermont County Farm Bureau.
Pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, milk, juice and coffee cost 50 cents. That is about what the farmer get's as his share from the sales of farm produced commodities that are shipped, processed and prepared for our meals.
They had little paper towers of information about farming in Ohio. Ohio has 4 million hogs raised by 3700 farmers. We are number two in egg production and in the top ten states of just about every category of grain and livestock production. Ohio has always been a prominent farming state although the message has been lost over my lifetime.
There are about 45,000 farming operations in Ohio producing about nine million acres of grain and other crops. Ohio almost always has more acres planted to soybeans than to corn. The last time there were more corn acres than soybeans was 1986. The last time Ohio had over a million acres of wheat was just 2008 and there were still 3 times more corn or soybean acres than wheat.
Acres of oats, grapes, potatoes, and tobacco continue to decline over time. Other states have more suitable weather and soils for those crops except tobacco which has declined from health concerns. US production of tobacco has declined form 2 billion pounds in 1975 to 1.2 billion pounds in 2001, or 42%. Ohio reflects that, too.
Ohio is 11th in the number of farms so that goes with it being in the top ten states in production of most agricultural commodities.
Agriculture is still the backbone of Ohio's and the country's economies which makes farming activities very important but one that is easy to take for granted.
What would my 50 cent breakfast cost in your neighborhood? Here it would be $5-10 plus tax and tip.