Thursday, March 8, 2012
National Agriculture Day
National Agriculture Day was traditionally observed on the first day of spring. This year, Congress was not going to be in session that day so the powers that be changed it to today, March 8.
I used National Agriculture Day to help my agriculture students learn how to communicate to others about agriculture. Since man started bartering food for goods and services a long, long time ago, the need to educate others about how it was raised and what its value is has been sought after.
In modern times, it has been used to show how many people don't have to produce food to enjoy it. That comes at a cost, the cost of production and a margin of profit. You will see all kinds of figures like "one U.S. farmer feeds 166 people" or whatever, depending on how you figure it.
The basic idea is agriculture is important because food is necessary. It is easy to take for granted. Todays farm is nothing like my dad's farm which was different from his dad's farm.
"We are living in a time of record land prices and good profits from agriculture. Today agriculture employs 14 percent of the U.S. workforce and agricultural graduates have multiple job offers. There is an increased recognition of the importance of farmers and food. Even Bill Gates, the second-richest person in the world, is now devoting his wealth toward improving agricultural productivity.
Polls show strong support for agriculture. Ninety-five percent of Americans say they believe it is important to grow food domestically. And more than 80 percent of Ohioans say they have a positive view of agriculture in the state.
The temptation on National Agriculture Day is to sit back, decide things are going well and enjoy listening to the good things being said. The challenge is to appreciate the compliments while continuing the hard work that brought agriculture to where it is today."
Today, I salute all of you who work in the field of agriculture. It has always been a good field to work in and I hope it always will.