14 March 2010 - Celebrate National Agriculture Week

For me there are three very special events in the month of March. First of all, there is the official arrival of Spring. That happens March 20. Secondly, National Agriculture Week is March 14th through the 20th this year. Oh, and the 3rd one, my birthday, on the last day of the month.

But this week let's focus on National Agriculture Week, a week set aside for more than two decades now by Presidential proclamation to call attention to the farmers and ranchers of America and the role they play in putting food on our table, clothes on our back, a roof over our head and now, energy in the gas tank.

That is why we celebrate National Agriculture Day on the first day of Spring and extend that into National Agriculture Week with many activities across the country, from our Nation's Capitol to rural communities, as well as cities, throughout the week. Many of the week's activities are sponsored by the Agriculture Council of America with assistance from the National Agriculture Marketing Association and financial support from agribusiness firms and commodity organizations.

Why should Americans celebrate Agriculture Day? The Agriculture Council offers several reasons....

  • Americans need to understand the value of agriculture in our daily lives.
  • Increased knowledge of agriculture and nutrition allows individuals to make informed personal choices about diet and health.
  • Informed citizens will be able to participate in establishing the policies that will support a competitive agricultural industry in this country and abroad.
  • Employment opportunities for young people exist across the board in agriculture. 4-H, FFA, and AFA members can choose from hundreds of careers in farm production, agribusiness management and marketing, agricultural research and engineering, food science, processing and retailing, banking, education, landscape architecture, urban planning, energy and probably some jobs that haven't even been invented yet.
  • Beginning in kindergarten and continuing through 12th grade, all students should receive some systematic instruction about agriculture. Agriculture is too important a topic to be taught only to the small percentage of students considering careers in agriculture.

We need to take advantage of the media platform provided by National Agriculture Week, use it to get urban attention and respond to the growing number of attacks on our food producers and food production system. So if you are a farmer or rancher, take a moment to pat yourself on the back, then go out and tell your city friends what you and your family do to feed the world. That's National Agriculture Week.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.