Farmers around the Country Celebrate Their Important Role in America on National Agriculture Day
Farmers are some of the most undervalued members of American society, so it’s only right that they get one day a year to educate the masses about what farming means to the country.
According to local news affiliate WBNG Binghamton, National Agriculture Day is celebrated every year on March 15. In New York, Chenango County farmers ventured to nearby Norwich to celebrate the importance of their service to the American people.
“One percent of the nation is producing food for one-hundred percent of the consumers,” said Chenango County Farm Bureau President Bradd Vickers.
“We’re making sure that the consumer realizes who produces their products,” Vickers added. “No, your food doesn’t come from the back of the grocery store or a truck behind the grocery store.”
This year, many farmers are bringing attention to the lessened demand for milk among American consumers. The dairy industry has continued to produce milk in mass quantities despite the lack of demand, which has had a negative impact on the entire agriculture sector.
“Every year, the consumer uses less and less milk and the dairy industry is producing more and more milk and it’s hurting the farmers,” said John Peila, a dairy farmer in Oxford, NY.
Employment of farmers and other agricultural managers is projected to decline about 2% from 2014 to 2024. Therefore, farmers have begun to diversify their crop yields to attract consumers that prefer fresh and healthy foods.
“Agriculture is no longer just milking dairy cows, it’s very diversified,” said Harvey Fletcher, Vice President of the Chenango County Farm Bureau. “We have large tree farmers, we have berry farmers, we have vegetable farms.”
According to local Ohio news affiliate WKBN, farmers used this day to bring awareness to direct relationship between agriculture and the economy. David Hull of White House Fruit Farms claims that agriculture is an essential part of any thriving community, particularly in the state of Ohio.
“When you put the three service legs together — the manufacturing, the agriculture and the service — it makes for a more interesting, vibrant community, more economically stronger with more employment opportunities,” Hull said.
Hull also takes great pride in bringing fresh food to his fellow Ohioans. Instead of being pessimistic about the changes in Americans’ eating habits, he believes this generation’s obsession with “organic” foods could be the best thing to happen to the agriculture industry in years.
“Knowing that your food can come from a local source, and being able to see where it’s grown and how it’s grown, and actually talking to the person that is growing it is becoming more important, and I think customers are becoming more aware of that than they were 20 years ago,” Hull continued.
Farmers may be underappreciated for 364 days of the year, but it’s nice to see them get their well-deserved day in the spotlight so Americans can celebrate their hard work.
Leave a Reply