Tuesday, March 19, 2013

National Ag Day Celebrates the Goodness of Life

While it’s fair to say National Agriculture Day celebrates cattle and corn, it’s also a day of gratitude for things you may not expect.

Sure, we can thank our farmers and ranchers for produce, cotton and beef, but did you also know agriculture helps supply us with medicine, landscaping and the lumber that shelters your family? Did you know agriculture helps protect us from pests, disease and tainted fuel? Or that agriculture plays a part in tourism, rural economic development and disaster relief?

In Texas, agriculture contributes more than $100 billion to the state economy each year and supports about 1.8 million ag-related jobs, ranging from fishermen, health inspectors, genetic scientists and economists.

Food, of course, is the very foundation of agriculture. In merging modern farming and ranching techniques with today’s technology, American farmers are more productive and efficient than ever before. According to the Texas Farm Bureau, each American producer feeds 155 people in the U.S. and abroad. By comparison, in 1960, that same ag producer fed 46 people.

On National Ag Day and every other day, I’d like to thank our Texas farmers and ranchers for the hard work they do to keep us fed, clothed and healthy. Look for their products when you shop and be mindful that the fruits of their labor are not just at the grocery store, but also all around you.

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