March 25: National Agriculture Day: Think Agriculture in the US is great? Pass it on! Tuesday March 25 is National Ag Day ~ a day that celebrates the abundance we all enjoy courtesy of the American agriculture. What is Ag Day?
Did you know American agriculture helps maintain and strengthen the US economy. That’s right ~ every time you buy something grown in the US (food, fiber, renewable resource) you are helping to strengthen the very industry that provides safe, affordable and accessible food for all? So much of our everyday food, clothing, fuel and bio-products are produced by the American agricultural industry which is reason enough to celebrate and promote it’s valiant efforts, but Ag Day is so much more. Ag day is a day of awareness, it’s a day to promote the importance of agriculture in our day to day lives. It used to be easy after all, just a few generations ago, most Americans were acutely aware of vital role agriculture plays in our lives as many Americans were directly involved in, or had friends and /or relatives involved in agricultural-related endeavors. But these days. it’s no longer the case. Now it’s up to us to teach our children about the value of American agriculture, to teach them about food security and sustainability to teach them that buying local produced food helps promote society at large.
Let’s Start with Brown Cows
Contrary to what my 8-year-old son might think, chocolate milk does not come from brown cows. That’s right, JRB, my smart, enterprising and well-read (if you consider “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” to be top-notch literature) child thought chocolate milk came from brown cows! I learned this recently when his teacher sent me a tongue in cheek email teasing that it was time to “have a talk” with my son who revealed his brown cow / chocolate milk theory during a classroom discussion. The teacher was kidding of course, but it was a reminder to me that JRB is completely removed from how food is produced. I don’t blame him. I grew up in a family where most of our meals came from a can, box or Chinese restaurant. My mom also smoked when she was pregnant and once left my baby brother under the care of a “valet parking attendant,” while she dashed inside for a doctor’s appointment. We’re smarter now, which means we are better able to make informed decisions about diet, health and safety. By understanding agriculture, how food is produced, distributed and regulated we can choose the best foods to nurture ourselves and our families. By understanding the role of agriculture has in food security and renewable energy, we are able to be better citizens as we can make informed decisions related to policy, laws and regulation.
And about those jobs
My achilles heel is seeing people lose their jobs. I HATE it. I hate that so many people have lost their jobs due to advancement in technology. Yes, I love you internet but I hate what you have done to my newspaper, my bookstore, my dear friend’s travel agency. The field of Agriculture has benefitted from technology but there are still ample employment opportunities in the world of Ag related industries. From farm production to food science, landscape architecture to retail stores the Agricultural industry is ripe with opportunity. So Join me Tuesday March 25 as we celebrate Ag Day 2014. (#agday2014) Say thank you to a farmer by buying some locally made cheese, locally sourced beef or locally grown corn. Make your favorite salad, hamburger or ice cream sundae recipe and visit www.agday.org for more ideas and events. The more we can teach out children about the AG industry and all it has to offer, the greater their opportunity will be for personal and professional growth.