National Agriculture Day was Tuesday, but the event went by largely unnoticed by the vast majority of citizens. Farming is on the decline in America, a fact which has some agriculture industry experts very concerned. The rich traditions fostered on a family farm are disappearing at a rather alarming rate. The aging population of both farmers and ranchers, coupled with a decline in interest in the food-giving industry could spell disaster on a global scale.
Farming could become one of the most profitable careers over the course of the next 20 years; but only if more young people opt to enter the agriculture industry. A recent farming report revealed that the average age of the American farmer is 58. The physically demanding agriculture industry must attract a new generation of leaders in order to thrive, according to analyst Jesse Colombo.
The industry expert also maintained in the report about the crop and ranching industry, that farmland prices are extremely low at the moment. Colombo firmly believes that more college students should be studying agriculture instead of business if they want to become highly successful in the near future. If Jesse Colombo’s predictions are accurate, farming regions could indeed become the “New Manhattans” as far as profit is concerned.
Every American farmer now feeds approximately 150 people not only in the United States, but around the globe. There are far fewer agriculture workers involved in crop and livestock production today than during the 1960s, and they are responsible for putting food on far more tables.
Although many modern family farms are incorporated businesses, they are largely still run by real people and not mammoth corporations. Today, many farmers and ranchers use the latest technology to grow and harvest the food which ultimately winds up on our store shelves or at local farmers’ markets. Many American farmers have college degrees and like many of us, attend continuing education workshops to perfect our skills.
There is much debate about “Big Ag” or industrialized farming and ranching habits as opposed to a more traditional manner of farming. Regardless of how a farmer or rancher decides to run a business, one fact remains the same – without them, our lives would be drastically more difficult.
Those of us who live in rural areas surely have the space to grow our own food, but perhaps not the skills or the time. Supplementing store-bought food with a backyard, urban, or full-size garden is becoming more commonplace and a very responsible practice. But, until we can all grow everything we need to survive, we need to remember when National Agriculture Day rolls around each year and say thank you to our local farmers.
Happy belated National Ag Day American farmers and ranchers – we would be awful hungry without you.
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