October 15, 2020
At this writing on Oct. 12, this country is not only observing Columbus Day but it’s also the Annual National Farmers Day! So are the farmers and their families out celebrating today, taking a day off, observing a holiday? Most all of the farmers today are knee deep into fall harvesting, baling the cane crop or planting wheat. No, they will not be taking a day off.
Living on a farm all of my life makes me understand what it’s like being a farmer and a member of a farm family. It’s not an easy life but farmers would be the first to tell you there is no life like it in the world. The life style is certainly not an easy one. It is filled with long hours of laboring work, lots of planning, bookwork, a good relationship with the banker and the ability to accept and deal with challenges of all kinds along the way. It can be rewarding. Farmers and ranchers take a lot of pride in their efforts. Being able to pass the baton off to the next generation is one of the farmer’s best rewards.
It was President Thomas Jefferson who said, “Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are tied to their country.” The U.S. farm industry contributes more than $100 billion to the U.S. economy. Agriculture is a major industry to the U.S.
Last year, it was estimated there was 897,400,000 acres of farms in the U.S. Currently there are more than 2.05 million farms in this country. In 2017 the average age of the farmer was 57.5 years.
During the 1930s one American farmer produced enough agricultural produce to feed four people, which meant that they produced enough food to feed their family. By the 1970s, that number had risen from feeding four people to 73. In more recent years, thanks to agricultural advancement and bioscience innovations, one farmer produces enough food to feed 155 people. U.S. farms today produce crops for more than 313 million people in the U.S. and also ship commodities worldwide, exporting more than 50 types of agricultural products.
So let’s hear it for the farmers and their families. Thank them for their tireless work!