Happy National Ag Day!
Today, March 25, we’re celebrating along with the Agriculture Council of America a day geared to recognize the abundance provided by agriculture. National Ag Day is all about celebrating and recognizing the contributions agriculture makes to our everyday lives.
Why celebrate and recognize? Well, the organizers explain that pretty well:
Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis. But too few people truly understand this contribution. This is particularly the case in our schools, where students may only be exposed to agriculture if they enroll in related vocational training.
By building awareness, the Agriculture Council of America is encouraging young people to consider career opportunities in agriculture.
Obviously, these goals fit in perfectly with the mission of FFA to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
In the spirit of National Ag Day, we developed a list of agriculture facts that you may not know. Check them out:
1. Today, every farmer feeds 144 people — up from 25 in the 1960s
Quite simply, American agriculture is doing more – and doing it better. As the world population soars, there is an even greater demand for the food and fiber produced in the United States. [source]
2. The number of farms operated by women have doubled in the U.S. since 1978
Across the country, nearly 300,000 women serve as principal operators on 62.7 million acres of farm and ranchland, accounting for $12.9 billion in farm products in 2012. Countless more women live, work and raise families in rural America. [source]
3. By 2050, we’ll have to produce more food to feed the world than ever before.
Taking into account a growing population and shifting diets, the world will need to produce 69 percent more food calories in 2050 than we did in 2006. World Food Prize President Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn calls “the single greatest challenge in human history: whether we can sustainably feed the 9 billion people who will be on our planet in the year 2050.” [source]
4. Agriculture employs more the 22 million people
Agribusiness Management, Agricultural and Natural Resources Communications, Building Construction Management, Agriscience, Resource Development and Management, Parks, Recreations, and Tourism Resources, Packaging, Horticulture, Forestry, Food Science, and Fisheries/Wildlife are all categories of agricultural careers. [source]
5. FFA is showing impressive membership growth
With global needs today to fight hunger and prepare for the expected population explosion, the agriculture industry needs educated, skilled and passionate people dedicated to sustainability.
Students are answering that call, evidenced by an explosion in FFA membership to nearly 580,000 members throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in the past year. [Source]
6. Need a job? Several agriculture careers are in demand
Shortfalls of qualified graduates to work as plant geneticists and plant breeders, climate change analysts, and food safety and security specialists are anticipated during 2010–15, according to a Purdue University study. [source]
7. 10 percent of all Americans are involved in farming
One in 10 Americans play a role in the nation’s food and fiber supply, showing the extreme importance of agricultural awareness and understanding. Agriculture is too important a topic to be taught only to the small percentage of students considering careers in agriculture and pursuing vocational agricultural studies. [source]
8. FFA members nationwide are fighting hunger with community-based projects and by donating more than one million meals
In 2014, more than 450,000 meals have been provided by FFA members participating in the FFA Hunger Heroes Challenge while 122 FFA chapters nationwide are fighting local hunger with FFA: Food For All grant projects. [source]