Thankful for American agriculture

Published 9:03pm Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dear Editor:

Where does your food come from?

If you’re like many Americans, the answer is the grocery store. And frankly, that disturbs me. The grocery store is just the distribution point; it isn’t where food comes from. In reality, far too many people are unaware of the role of American agriculture in their daily lives . . . and what it really takes to have food on their dinner table.

Just a few generations ago, most people were a part of and had friends or relatives involved with agriculture. Today, that’s no longer the case. That’s why I’m writing, because agriculture is responsible for providing the necessities of life . . . food, fiber, clothing, and shelter. And it’s about time Americans recognize that contribution!

American farmers are working harder than ever and it shows. Today, each American farmer feeds more than 155 people. And the need for food produced in the United States is dramatic. Agriculture is this nation’s No. 1 export and vitally important in sustaining a healthy economy.

And it’s not just the farmer who makes our food possible. The entire agriculture industry, from the field all the way to the grocery store, is vital to bringing food to every U.S. citizen and millions of people abroad.

Frankly, it’s easy to take agriculture for granted in America. Our food is readily accessible and safe. For this, we’re unbelievably fortunate . . . but that doesn’t mean we don’t have an obligation to recognize how it’s made possible.

This March 25, 2014, is National Ag Day, hosted by the Agriculture Council of America. Ag Day is a good time to reflect on, and be grateful for, American agriculture!

Randy Knight

President, Mississippi

Farm Bureau Federation