Tuesday, March 16, 2010

AG Day...March 20th

I had never heard of National Ag Day until I received my latest Florida Grower E-mail today. Apparently this sounds like a fun thing and VERY educational. SO,being that one of my goals for this Blog and being a Master Gardener is education, I thought I would spend some time on it today.
What is it? It's a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.
Here are just some of the key reasons why it's important to recognize - and celebrate - Ag Day each year:
The National Ag Day program believes that every American should:
1) Understand how food, fiber and renewable resource products are
2) Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong
3) Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant
and affordable products.
4) Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the
agriculture, food, fiber and renewable resource industries.
Increased knowledge of agriculture and nutrition allows individuals to make informed personal choices about diet and health.
Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis. But too few people truly understand this contribution. This is particularly the case in our schools, where students may only be exposed to agriculture if they enroll in related vocational training. If you want proof of this, ask a school age child some easy questions:
1) Where does Milk come from? I bet you will get all kinds of crazy answers like, "The grocery store" "My mother brings it home" or "The container in the refrigerator".
2) Where do Peanuts grow? I guarantee there will be at least one that says "On Trees".
3) If you really want to have some fun, ask them what paper is made of? The blank stares you will get say volumes!

Agriculture is extremely important to this country. Here are some of the interesting facts I found:
* Agriculture is America's #1 export.
* U.S. farmers and ranchers produce more than 200 raw commodities yearly for domestic and export markets.
* One farmer produces enough food to feed about 144 people in the United States and abroad compared with just 25.8 people in 1960.
* Agriculture generates 20% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.
* One-fourth of the world's beef and nearly one-fifth of the world's grain, milk and eggs are produced in the U.S.

If you would like to learn more about National Ag day, go to: http://www.agday.org/
I encourage you to find an event in your area on March 20th. If you can't find one, maybe just pause for a moment or two to think about all the wonderful things that Agriculture does for you on a daily basis. Things such as, the cotton in the clothes you wear. The food you eat. The lumber in the house you live in. The list is very extensive. If you happen to come face to face with a farmer, shake his (or her) hand and tell them Thank You!
Happy Growing!

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