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February 14, 2013

Connecting to Agriculture During Thank a Farmer Week

Farm Bureau board members and representatives (L to R) Bruce Childress, Lisa Grubb, David Jackson, Jodie Jackson and Stacie Holt look on as Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg signs a proclamation recognizing Thank a Farmer Week.

Food, clothing, shelter, transportation… and so much more are products of agriculture. Join Missouri Farm Bureau and the 113 county Farm Bureau organizations across the state, February 10-16, as they pay tribute to Missouri's farmers and ranchers with a variety of Thank a Farmer Week activities.

The Missouri Farm Bureau Thank a Farmer Week allows Missourians to pause and be reminded of the efforts of farmers and why their work is important to all of us.

Today's farmers grow more food and do it with fewer resources than any time in history. Consumer demands have changed over time, but farmers meet those needs by providing an increasing variety of goods. According to the United States Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, technology and innovations in agriculture allow one U.S. farmer to provide enough food and fiber for 154 people around the world.

Even amidst the current grow-your-own environment, most people have little contact with the source of their food supply. Most consumers rely on others to produce some or all of what is needed. Statistics show farm families make up about 2 percent of the U.S. population, yet they provide for themselves and the other 98 percent.

Grocery shelves are filled with an overwhelming number of food product choices. On average, nearly 40,000 different items appear in most shopping establishments. Restaurant menus boast a variety of items from which to choose. However, many people fail to connect the dots to realize farmers are the source of their supply of food, says David Jackson, Scotland County Farm Bureau Board President.

Farmers provide an abundant, affordable and healthy food supply. Consumers in the U. S. spend less than 10 percent of their disposable income on food, based on USDA figures. That amount is less than any country in the world.

Other items we use daily come from agriculture. Whether it is personal care products, medical items, school supplies, printed materials, sports equipment, manufacturing or construction, agricultural products are in the mix. "Seldom do we stop and ask ourselves, 'where did this come from?' says Jackson. "Farmers and what they provide should not be taken for granted".

Agriculture is an important part of Scotland County's economy. Farm businesses give back to the community in many ways while they produce food and fiber for the world. So, join the Scotland County Farm Bureau as we pause to 'Thank a Farmer' for a job well done during our special promotion February 10-16.

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