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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

National Ag Day

National Agriculture Day is March 25. This is a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Would you take a moment to consider just how many parts of your life agriculture touches? 
On Thanksgiving many people celebrate with a turkey or a ham, sweet potatoes, dressing, green bean casserole, rolls, pecan pie…I’m sure there are family recipes and traditions uniquely yours. Consider that all of these items on your table could all easily have come from the Pee Dee. Perhaps just down the road from where you live.
The wood your home was constructed with; the fabric in your sheets, pillowcases, chair cushions; the soap and bath products you use; and even the towels you dry off with; all of these items can be traced back to a farm or ranch. 
The farmers of our state and country don’t just feed us, they feed the world. Farmers from other countries study the way our farmers operate, the decisions they make, their techniques, because the production of food is not a rural issue; but instead an essential human issue. American farmers
—with the help of modern technology—produce enough food for a global population of 6.3 billion. In fact, modern agriculture is so efficient, that just one American farmer feeds 150 people, and due to rapid population growth, this same farmer will need to feed 250 people by the year 2050.

But that's not all that's changing. As the population expands, it also shifts. People continue to move away from the farm and into the cities, creating a vast disconnect between production agriculture and the food that we eat. In other words: people don't see beyond the grocery store shelves.

Food may come to you in cellophane, but that’s not where it began. It began in a field that was planted, tended, and harvested by a farmer. Whether large or small, young or old, that farmer faced weather, pests, and many other obstacles to make sure that crop grew, was harvested, and would end up on someone’s table.

Farmers love the land. They are the original conservationists. And they love and are committed to what they do. On this National Agriculture Day, think about what you have on your plate and how your life has been impacted by agriculture. And, if you can’t thank a farmer face-to-face, thank him or her silently.

Thank you, farmers.

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