Sowing seeds of appreciation on National Agriculture Day

Posted on Mar 11, 2015

Louisville, KY (March 11, 2015) – Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) joins the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) and farming organizations across the country to celebrate National Agriculture Day on March 18. This day has been set aside annually since 1973 to highlight the many ways America’s food system improves the quality of life for everyone.

“Farmers contribute so much to our nation’s prosperity, independence, security and overall well-being that it just makes sense to designate a day celebrating their accomplishments,” said KFB President Mark Haney.

Ag-DayNational Agriculture Day has been celebrated for more than 40 years now, but it is important to point out that today’s farmers grow twice as much food as their parents did back then – and do so using less land, water and energy. Even though the total number of farms in the United States has declined during the past several decades, agricultural production continues to meet the needs of a rapidly growing global population. Most of this production is accomplished by the output from family farms. Approximately 90 percent of farms in the U.S. are operated by families or individuals, yet, according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, agriculture is one of the few remaining industries in this country with a positive balance of trade. As of February 2015, agricultural trade surplus for the U.S. was forecast at $22.5 billion.

“It is important that all people, but especially our youth, understand the significant role that agriculture plays in everyday life,” said Haney. “Our volunteer leaders will take that message into many of Kentucky’s schools on National Agriculture Day.”

To help the positive message of agriculture reach Kentucky’s youth during National Agriculture Day, volunteers from more than 50 county Farm Bureaus are reading the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s 2015 accurate ag “Book of the Year” to elementary school students across the state. Many other counties are hosting other agriculturally educational events at schools to provide students with an opportunity to meet local farmers and learn more about how food is grown.

The accurate ag book, “The Apple Orchard Riddle,” was written by Margaret McNamara, a former children’s book editor who now works as a literary agent. “The Apple Orchard Riddle” is a playful and humorous tale that walks readers through the process of apple harvesting, identifying the different apple varieties and even making apple cider – all while trying to solve a great riddle.

“I like to think that our Farm Bureau volunteers are planting the most important seeds of the season right now; seeds that will take root in the mind of a child and grow into a deep appreciation for both our farming heritage and its future,” concluded Haney.

Additional information about the purpose, history and celebration of National Agriculture Day is available at agday.org.

 

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