Comer: On National Agriculture Day March 25, consider ag's vital role in our everyday lives
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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FRANKFORT, Ky. — American agriculture provides the safest, most abundant, and most affordable food supply in the world for U.S. citizens and consumers around the globe. It also produces the raw materials for clothing and many other manufactured products, and it generates thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity.
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer invites all Kentuckians to consider those facts and others as they commemorate National Agriculture Day on March 25.
“Most Americans are two or three generations removed from the farm, so they don’t understand all the ways that agriculture contributes to our way of life,” Commissioner Comer said. “National Agriculture Day provides a way to raise awareness about the importance of agriculture and the people who provide the food and fiber that we sometimes take for granted.”
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture works to educate Kentucky children about agriculture’s vital role.
- The Division of Agriculture Education and Outreach operates two mobile science activity centers that travel to schools throughout the commonwealth to give students the opportunity to conduct hands-on investigations related to agriculture. Last month, Commissioner Comer announced that a third mobile science center will be built to serve 37 eastern Kentucky counties.
- The department conducts an annual contest that calls on students to draw posters and write essays about an agriculture-based theme.
- Last year, the KDA launched the Farm to School Junior Chef state competition in which high school cooking teams competed for scholarships while learning about food preparation, local food, and agriculture’s importance.
Kentucky’s 77,064 farms sold more than $5 billion worth of farm products in 2012, according to preliminary results from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2012 Census of Agriculture.
The average American farmer feeds 155 people in the United States and worldwide, compared with 25.6 people in 1960. Americans spend 10 percent of their income on food, down from more than 25 percent in 1933 and the lowest percentage of any country in the world, according to the USDA.
National Agriculture Day is sponsored by the Agriculture Council of America, an organization of leaders in the agriculture, food, and fiber communities dedicated to increasing public awareness of agriculture’s vital role in American society. Partners in National Agriculture Day include corporations, agricultural media, commodity groups, and nonprofit organizations. For more information on National Agriculture Day, including educational resources and event planning ideas, go to www.agday.org.