Around the Countryside – National Ag Day 2021

March 10, 2021

Around the Countryside

National Ag Day 2021

Marion Barnes – Senior County Extension Agent

Clemson University

One of the many activities that signal the beginning of spring is seeing farmers in their fields putting in their crops. Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use, or wear daily, but few people truly understand this contribution. Every year in the spring, farmers, universities, schools, agricultural associations, corporations, government agencies, and countless other organizations come together on March 23rd to celebrate National Ag Day.

National Ag Day was founded in 1973 and is organized by the Agricultural Council of America (ACA). Each year, the Agricultural Council of America hosts a national campaign to recognize and celebrate agriculture’s contribution to our everyday lives. The National Ag Day program encourages every American to understand how food and fiber products are produced, value the essential role agriculture plays in our economy, and appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant, and affordable products.

Today, every American farmer feeds more than 165 people in the United States and abroad. According to sources, with the global population expected to exceed two billion people by 2050, farmers will have to produce about seventy percent more food than they do now.

Our nations ‘ farmers’ efficiency and productivity hit home this morning as I sat down to breakfast before writing this article. I enjoyed scrambled eggs mixed with a small slice of American cheese provided by our poultry and dairy producers, crispy bacon, our hog farmers’ complements, and hot homemade biscuits made from flour grown by wheat farmers. Those hot, homemade biscuits were topped off with a dab of butter, another product of our dairy farmers, and a heaping spoonful of homemade strawberry preserves made from locally grown strawberries. If one knows anything about making homemade jams, jellies, and preserves, they know it requires a good deal of sugar, a product of our sugarcane growers. And last but certainly not least, I enjoyed a cold glass of Florida grown & processed orange juice.

Speaking of food processing, Americans enjoy the benefits of one of the most efficient and often overlooked food processing and supply systems in the world. Packinghouse workers, truck drivers, delivery personnel, grocery store workers, and countless other individuals who work and support this fantastic industry all play a vital role in our food supply’s affordability and availability. The empty grocery store shelves we recently witnessed during the Pandemic should be a stark reminder of the critical and essential role that the entire agricultural industry plays in our daily lives.

So, when you sit down to your next meal, take a few moments to think about the folks who were responsible for the food on your table. They include agricultural scientists and researchers that develop new plant varieties, the agri-business industry that provides fertilizer and crop protection products, farm equipment manufacturers, and dealers. Livestock, dairy, and poultry producers, forage, fiber, vegetable, and grain producers. Those who work in the food processing and supply industry. The farmers and agricultural workers who toil in the fields and many other individuals all come together to give Americans the safest, most affordable, and abundant food supply in the world. On National Ag Day, March 23rd, help spread the positive message about agriculture, an industry each of us depends on for our next meal!

Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer


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