Find ways to support the American Farmer this National Ag Day.
March 24th is National Ag Day, and according to the Agriculture Council of America, it’s a time “to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture.” Recognizing the importance of our nation’s farmers is critical now more than ever, especially during this time of uncertainty and anxiety as we face the global spread of the novel coronavirus. While the ongoing pandemic has flooded most media platforms, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the continued dedication of our farmers and ranchers who continue to sacrifice their own safety to provide food for our nation.
During this National Ag Week, be sure to show your support for not only the hard-working farmers but also the first responders and healthcare workers who are sacrificing their own comforts to protect our nation from COVID-19.
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About National Ag Day
The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) was created in 1973 as a nonprofit organization of leaders in the industry who are dedicated to promoting public awareness about the vital role agriculture plays in our society. The National Ag Day program began the same year, centered on four core beliefs. Every American should,
- understand the hard work that goes into the production of our foods and fibers;
- appreciate agriculture’s role in providing safe, abundant, and affordable products;
- value the impact agriculture has on maintaining a strong economy; and
- acknowledge and possibly consider potential career opportunities within the industry.
The National Agriculture Day Program takes place every year in March and is the primary initiative of ACA. The organization provides planning information and materials on the National Ag Day website to encourage activities and events that celebrate American agriculture and our resilient farmers all over the country. While events have been postponed this year due to government closures and concern for attendees, AgAmerica will continue to do our part in promoting agricultural awareness and supporting our nation’s farmers.
Celebrating National Ag Day
Groups and organizations related to agriculture—like FFA, 4-H, and the Farm Bureau—are the main collaborators that host different events to celebrate National Ag Day. This year, AgAmerica was proud to sponsor the FFA Beast Feast’s Sporting Clays Shoots to raise money for the Florida FFA Association. In the past, we’ve worked hard to sponsor our local youth in ag, hoping to help grow the next generation of farmers and ranchers.
While this year is a bit different with most physical events being postponed or canceled, showing your support for National Ag Day may require a digital approach. We are blessed to be in a time period with infinite resources and social media platforms at our fingertips. Social media is an excellent outlet to express your support for our hardworking farmers. Chances are you know someone who has a connection to the industry. Take the time to reach out and thank them for the effort and resilience that goes into keeping us fed. Learn more about ways you can become an “agvocate” for agriculture.
The Importance of Agricultural Literacy
To be an advocate for agriculture, it’s essential to understand the fundamentals of the agriculture industry. A lack of personal connection to the farm can lead to a misunderstanding of the value of agriculture in our daily lives.
Why should this be remedied? Increased knowledge of agriculture and nutrition often helps people make more informed choices about their diet and health. In addition, informed citizens will be positioned to help establish the policies that will support a competitive, thriving agriculture industry in the U.S. and abroad.
Schools often share agriculture education with only the small percentage of students considering careers in agriculture or pursuing vocational agricultural studies, which means many children do not realize the numerous career opportunities available in the agriculture, food, fiber, and renewable resource industries. This problem leads to a higher percentage of young individuals who lack basic knowledge about where their food comes from.
In short, agricultural literacy—an understanding of agriculture’s history and current economic, social, and environmental significance to all Americans—is essential for all and will ultimately benefit the entire agriculture industry and society as a whole.
Ways to Support the American Farmer
Once you gain a deeper understanding of the important role agriculture plays in our nation, you can begin to take conscious steps in showing your appreciation. While some may be on pause until normal activities resume, below are several ways you can show your support for U.S. agriculture on both a local and national level.
Local or Community Level
- Shop at a local farmers’ market. Support growers and producers directly by buying at a Farmers’ Market. Look to your state’s department of agriculture to find directories of Farmers’ Markets near you.
Note: If Farmers’ Markets are closed in your area for an extended period of time, seek out local farms that provide delivery and drop-off services to consumers.
- Visit a local U-Pick agribusiness. Again, this directly supports those in agriculture. You should be able to find information about local U-Pick operations from your state’s department of agriculture website or online.
- Plan an event in your community. Showing your appreciation for the American Farmer doesn’t have to only happen once a year. Once we are in a position to stop social distancing, we encourage people to create events that promote agriculture awareness, such as a farm-to-table dinner party or a cookout with locally-sourced meat. Farmers and ranchers will be in need of creative ways to supplement lost income during this economically stressful time and there is no better way to show your support than by helping them do just that.
Regionally or Nationally
- Visit an agritourism operation. The options available when it comes to agritourism—tours, how-to classes, shops, and entertainment—means you can find something interesting for everyone in your family to do in all parts of the country. Touring a farm is also a fun way to get the family out of the house in wide, open spaces once the COVID-19 pandemic settles down. Sharing these experiences with your children can be an inspiring experience for them and instill a deeper appreciation for the food they consume.
- Write to your elected officials in support of agriculture. One way you can show appreciation for your local farmers today is by writing a letter or calling your elected officials. Let them know you support agriculture and those in it, and that you would like your elected officials to do the same. Ask how they plan to help local farmers who are battling economic hardships due to recent events. Find your state legislature with their contact information here.
- Show your support on social media. Telling the story of the American Farmer to increase awareness for people who are disconnected from the industry and their food source. Using #FoodisLife and #ThankaFarmer within posts are just a couple examples of ways people are joining in the conversation, contributing to digital agriculture communities, and boosting online presence for farmers and ranchers organically through word-of-mouth content.
- Consider a career in agriculture. There are many different jobs related to agriculture, and the majority of them are done outside of the field. From researcher to marketer and business to retailer, there are over 200 careers that are ag-related yet can be tailored to your area of expertise and interests. Now more than ever, the agriculture industry needs intelligent, competent workers to help plant, harvest, and distribute food around the globe.
Showing Support for the American Farmer and Rancher
At AgAmerica Lending, we recognize and understand the vital role farmers and ranchers play in American health and the global economy. We’ve had the opportunity to visit farmers and ranchers across the nation and share their unique stories of hardship and perseverance through our American Farmer documentary series. We believe in the future of agriculture and recognize the role that we play in this mission. Learn how we can help position your operation for long-term success and keep you focused on what matters most, your land. Contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 844.516.8176.