National Ag Day Celebrates 50 Year Anniversary
By Klodette Stroh
This year, National Ag Day will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary on March 21, and it’s a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Evolution and progress have carried American agriculture into a new era since the first National Ag Day was celebrated in 1973.
Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.
The world population will reach nine billion by 2050, and there will be millions of new mouths to feed, many of whom rely on U.S. food production to meet this need.
According to the Agriculture Council of America (ACA), one-fourth of the world’s beef and nearly one-fifth of the world’s grain, milk and eggs are produced by American farmers. One farmer produces enough food for 165 people.
In these difficult economic times, U.S. agriculture has a positive balance in exports.
In fact, on Feb. 10, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced, “The American agricultural sector posted its best export year ever in 2022, with international sales of U.S. farm and food products reaching $196 billion.”
The top commodities exported by the U.S. in 2022 were soybeans, corn, beef, dairy, cotton and tree nuts, which together comprised more than half of U.S. agricultural export value.
The top 10 agricultural export markets in the U.S. include China, Mexico, Canada, Japan, the European Union, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Colombia and Vietnam.
As farmers, my husband Rick and I are always eager to keep up with new techniques to improve our farming practices. Using modern technology has boosted our crop yields and reduced waste.
Farmers use satellite maps and computers to match seed, fertilizer and crop protection applications to local soil conditions. Sophisticated global positioning systems can be specifically designed for spraying herbicides and pesticides.
Roundup ready sugarbeet seeds are a good example of the biogenetics process.
Biogenetics is simply another technology to help with crop production. This is a feature implanted directly into the seed to protect it from certain herbicides or pests.
U.S. agriculture has been benefiting from this technology by using Roundup ready corn, soybean and sugarbeet seeds.
Wyoming’s agricultural sector added $1.83 billion to our economy. Animals and animal products are valued for $1.13 billion, crops are valued at $419 million and farm-related incomes are $288 million.
In Wyoming, corn, sugarbeets, barley and dry beans were the largest crops raised.
Nationwide, Wyoming ranks fourth for sheep and lambs, fifth for production of barley and pinto beans and ninth for production of sugarbeets.
The largest federal irrigation project, the Shoshone Irrigation Project, is located in Park County, which ranks first in the state in sugarbeet and barley production, second in production of dry edible beans, fifth in corn production and ninth in all cattle.
American agriculture is our nation’s most vital renewable industry. Every hour, the U.S. exports $6 million worth of agricultural products.
Give thought and praise for American farmers during National Ag Week. I pray and believe agriculture is the industry that will help our beloved country recover from any trial ahead.
Klodette Stroh is the sugar chairman for Women Involved in Farm Economics. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.