Thursday, October 28, 2010

Agriculture Goes to Bat in 2010 World Series

As the 2010 World Series steps up to the plate, baseball fans may be surprised to know how agriculture plays out on the Field of Dreams. From wooden bats and leather mitts to cotton uniforms and turfgrass, America's pastime would be a tough pitch without the products of farmers and ranchers. So, whether you're rooting for the Texas Rangers or San Francisco Giants in this year's World Series, keep an eye out for agriculture while you're staying glued to the tube.
  • Baseball bats are made of wood and in Texas, the timber industry produces more than 500 million cubic feet of lumber annually with a delivered value of more than $600 million.
  • Leather is used to make mitts and Texas leads the nation in cattle with more than 13 million head, which have an annual production value of about $6 billion.
  • Peanuts are a favorite snack at baseball games and in Texas, we produce more than 700 million pounds of peanuts - enough to make 7 billion peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  • Hot dogs are a traditional favorite at baseball games and the Texas pork industry has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $250 million.
  • Hot dogs also need hot dog buns. Texas growers produce an average of 90 million bushels of wheat annually - enough to make more than 25 billion hot dog buns.
  • Texas is a leading dairy state and produces enough milk each year to fill the Texas Rangers Ball Park in Arlington nearly eight times.
  • Texas is the nation's No. 1 cotton-producing state, growing enough cotton every year to make about 3 billion baseball uniforms. If the bales of cotton produced in Texas were placed side-by-side, they could line both sides of the road from the Rangers' ballpark to the San Francisco Giants' home field.
  • Want wool socks to go with that uniform? Texas is the top wool-producing state in the nation, with more than 800,000 sheep yielding nearly 4 million pounds of wool.
  • Cornstarch can be used to make biodegradable plastic for drink cups, tableware, and more. Texas growers expect to produce 294 million bushels of corn in 2010.
  • The grass is always greener at the ballpark. Texas harvests nearly 40,000 acres of turf grass sod annually.
  • How better to celebrate a world championship than with a good steak dinner? Texas produces about 8 billion pounds of beef a year.
  • Where else but Texas can you find a World Series baseball teamed owned by a Texas rancher who has a brand of beef named after him? Nolan Ryan produces great Texas beef and a world-class baseball team.
These are just a few examples of agriculture powering every aspect of our daily lives, from our dinnertimes to our pastimes.

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