Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Celebrate National Ag Day

Today is National Ag Day! However, for those of us involved in agriculture and those of us that eat food, this industry is important every day.

Me and my favorite show cow 

Growing up on a farm can involve early mornings, doing chores before school and before opening presents on Christmas morning, and a lot of work, but it instills some of the best values and teaches some of the best life lessons. What I love most about farming is how it brings families together. My Grandpa taught me a lot about caring for cows, how to make hay and how to be a good steward of our natural resources. He also taught me to work hard and never give up. My best memories involve our farm and my 4-H cows.

Agriculture is a big deal in Indiana. In fact 83 percent of land is farms, forests and woodlands.

For example, here's how Indiana stacks up to other states according to the USDA NASS:

  • 1st in commercial duck production, wood office furniture, kitchen cabinet manufacturing
  • 2nd in popcorn production, tomatoes for processing, ice cream production, total eggs produced, cropland planted with a cover crop
  • 3rd in egg layers inventory, soybeans, spearmint, fresh market cantaloupe
  • 4th in turkeys raised, peppermint
  • 5th in corn for grain, fresh market watermelon, snap peas for processing

Additionally, Indiana agriculture contributes approximately $31 billion towards Indiana gross domestic product and the value of agricultural products last year totaled $11.2 billion. In 2015, 14.7 million acres of farmland were cultivated by the state's 57,700 farming operations, 98 percent of which are family owned.

Our cows love to chew on this rose bush every summer. Granny sure appreciates that...ha!

There may be fewer farms operating each year, but agriculture continues to be a major economic driver in rural economies across Indiana. We rank 38th in land mass in the nation, but continue to rank in the top five in many agricultural commodities. Many states are big in one or two things, but Indiana is diverse and is a powerhouse in our nation's agricultural industry.

National Ag Day was established by the Agriculture Council of America to recognize the abundance agriculture provides. 

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