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Celebrate Agriculture Week!

March 27, 2014

By Norma Dittman
Minnesota State Governor, Mark Dayton, declared Sunday, March 23rd through Saturday, March 29th, as Minnesota Agriculture Week. National Agriculture Day this year was set for Tuesday, March 25th.

In signing the Minnesota Proclamation, Gover Dayton said, “It’s important to recognize the abundance of food, fiber, and renewable resources provided by Minnesota farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses. Please join me in celebrating the hard working people who are producing the high quality and affordable products we enjoy and that are in demand around the world. All Minnesotans should be proud of our state’s rich agricultural heritage and the vibrant industry that agriculture is today.””

There are many reasons why Minnesotans should celebrate Minnesota Agriculture Week, not least of which is the fact that Minnesota ranks fifth nationally in total agriculture production and fourth in agricultural exports. The Minnesota ag industry bring $75 billion dollars annually into the state economy. It also supports 340,000 jobs. If you ever shop in a grocery store, you are relating to the Minnesota agricultural industry.

Nationally, it is important that people are aware of the agricultural industry. The Agricultural Council of America (ACA) is an organization that is dedicated to raising awareness about the agricultural industry. The ACA and the National Ag Day was instituted in 1973.

The ACA believes that every American should:

•Understand how food and fiber products are produced.

•Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.

•Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.

• Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.

In honor of Minnesota Agriculture Week, the Minnesota Farmers Union shared the following facts about agriculture:

• on average, a farmer receives only 15.8 cents on every food dollar, the other costs come from distribution, retailing, processing, marketing, and wholesaling;

• every American farmer feeds about 144 people;

• a dairy cow produces 1,500 gallons, or 6,000 quarts of milk in a year;

• every year, each person in the United States uses the equivalent of one tree, 100 feet tall and 16 inches in diameter, for their wood and paper needs;

• Americans eat about 125 pounds of potatoes a year, half from fresh potatoes and half in processed foods;

• it only takes a combine 9 seconds to harvest enough wheat to make 70 loaves of bread;

• there are about 600 kernels on every ear of corn;

• one bushel of wheat will produce 73 one-pound loaves of bread;

• a pig can run a 7-minute mile; and

• one acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.

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