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What does National Agriculture Week mean to you?

National Agriculture Week is an annual event celebrating agriculture’s importance in our lives.  During this week, organizations, businesses, and individuals recognize and honor the contributions of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers to our nation’s economy and food supply.  So, what exactly does National Agriculture Week mean to you?

National Agriculture Week is a great opportunity to remind the agricultural industry how much we need them every single day.  Too often, farmers and ranchers are vilified and it is a truly thankless job.  A job that creates heartache, stress, and financial burden for those responsible for feeding us three times a day, every single day.  There are no off days, no off-seasons, and agriculture production is a critical part of every single American’s daily life.

The American Farmer is responsible for so very much.  They play a vital role in providing a source of abundant food.  Daily, the cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, lambs, and any and all livestock patiently wait for their food source to show up.  For 5 months of the year, sometimes up to 24 hours a day, you find planters, plows, combines, harvesters, hay bines, and tillage equipment running the field to produce corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, milo, and beyond.  

Through hard work, using natural resources, and various farming techniques, U.S. Farmers show up for you daily.  They genuinely care about the safety of our food.  They truly care about the health and safety of livestock.  They believe in the future of agriculture and often act as a beacon of change and growth for the future of agriculture sustainability.  They care about agricultural advancements and are the true definition of stewards of the land. 

American agriculture and National Ag Day are so important.  It is a great opportunity to take a look at the estimated economic impact that the agriculture industry shares.  It is a great opportunity to recognize the strides taken in the last century in the agriculture system.  Some alarming stats I happened to see this week from Cattleman U (https://www.cattlemanulive.com/)  

    • In 2023, food prices are expected to increase by 7.9%
    • In 2023, Net Farm Income is expected to decrease by 18.2%
    • In 2023, Working capital for farmers is expected to decrease by 11.2%

    If that doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will.  Increasing (and uncontrollable) input prices, year after year drought, corporate subsidy, and so much consumer criticism, it is important to recognize just how fragile our national food system is.

    We must spread awareness for the American Farmer and Rancher. The average age of the American Farmer is 60 years old.  Our nation is relying on the next generation of farmers and ranchers, at much lower profit margins, to carry on our rich history of agriculture. The function of farmers is unrelenting and is critical to ensure an adequate food supply. 

    So on this National Agriculture Week, I ask of you on behalf of the American Farmer and Rancher; to share our stories, ask us questions about your food, support your local producers, or just a simple thank you for feeding America.  Happy National Agriculture week!  

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