Every day I work with the 2 percent of our US population; farmers. They are a diverse bunch of folks, who are women, men, young, old and most of all passionate about their jobs. All of them take the job of growing food for our plates very seriously and do this on large farms and the smallest of acres. But agriculture is much bigger than these individuals. Agriculture is vast and the largest business that Americans take part in each day.
Agriculture products are used in many areas, like manufacturing, construction, healthcare, transportation, sports, printing, education and entertainment. Everything from ink to print with, to making plastic polymer’s for use in car seats. All of these products utilize crops produced on American farms.
In Ohio alone one in seven jobs are linked to agriculture, or 900,000 jobs. It also contributes $105 billion dollars to our state’s economy, which includes all agriculture products from the farms and manufacturing. In the United States over $401.3 billion dollars of cash receipts come directly from the farm and 17 million Americans are in a job in agriculture and related industries. In total, farmers each feed 168 people in the US and abroad and this number speaks to the efficiency and growth the agriculture industry in the past 50 years.
All of these numbers are great, but most important to all of us, is that farmers are doing this for us, the consumer while keeping in mind that we are feeding our families. That is why, farmers are doing conservation practices to protect our soil and water, making sure husbandry practices for animals are at the highest standards and that we are responding to the needs of our customers.
With social media and our instant news based society, there are many ways you can learn about the farms who are producing your food. I urge you to check out these blogs, like www.agricultureproud.com, Dairy Carrie, and the Center of Food Integrity to learn more about how farmers are working on producing your food.
Above all, during National Agriculture Week, let us celebrate the fact that in the United States we have many choices on how we are able to feed our families. Thank you agriculture!
Want to learn more, contact the Shelby County Farm Bureau at [email protected] or see us at the Ohio Farm Bureau website at ofbf.org.
The writer is the organization director for the Ohio Farm Bureau: Auglaize, Logan, Mercer, Shelby and Union counties.