Our changing economy illustrates how agriculture impacts our lives now more than ever. Thanks to Missouri farmers, consumers have many choices for the locally sourced food and goods they enjoy. Around the world, consumers value what our farmers and ranchers produce. Missouri Farm Bureau and county Farm Bureau’s across the state are joining forces to celebrate the importance of agriculture, March 5-11, during Celebrate Agriculture: Thank a Farmer Week!
According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the number of farms in Missouri declined 3,851 from 2012 to 95,320. Acreage also declined by just over a half-million acres. Despite the drop in farms and farm acreage, Missouri continues to rank among the top 10 states in production of major commodities and provides an $88.4 billion economic impact.
America’s farms and farmers continue to be the most productive in the world. Each farm annually produces enough food and fiber for 172 people, 106 in the U.S. and 66 abroad. American consumers benefit from this bounty, yet spend less than 9 percent of their disposable income on food. By 2050, the global population is expected to increase by 9.1 billion people. Farmers will have to grow about 49 percent more food than is now produced.
With all that they produce, it is remarkable that farm and ranch families account for less than 2 percent of the U.S. population. Across the United States, there are 2 million farms with 3.4 million farm operators. This number includes owners, their families, hired workers, tenants and renters or sharecroppers. Many farms today find multiple generations working together to produce food and fiber.
So, join Farm Bureau as we Celebrate agriculture and Thank a Farmer.
“Agriculture is important to our daily lives and our community. Because 98 percent of the population doesn’t farm, it is easy to take for granted the importance of our farmers,” says Douglas County Farm Bureau Federation President, Tanner Clark.
Clark says. “Celebrate Agriculture: Thank a Farmer Week is a great time to recognize the important contribution made by farmers!” To help Celebrate Agriculture, we reached out to our local schools in Douglas County and asked students to answer the following question: “Why are farmers and ranchers important in your everyday life?” Responses to this question will be published in next week’s paper and also will be on display at the county Farm Bureau office.