Farm Bureaus across Missouri thank farmers
With the global COVID-19 pandemic highlighting how agriculture impacts our everyday lives now more than ever, Missouri Farm Bureau and county Farm Bureaus across the state recently joined forces to celebrate the importance of agriculture during Celebrate Agriculture: Thank a Farmer Week, which was held Feb. 28 through March 6.
“Celebrate Agriculture: Thank a Farmer Week is a great time to recognize the important contribution made by farmers,” said Jennifer Poindexter, director of promotion and education for Missouri Farm Bureau. “Agriculture is important to our daily lives and our community. Because 98 percent of the population doesn't farm, it is easy to take for granted the importance of our farmers.”
A study commissioned by the Missouri Department of Agriculture and Missouri Farm Bureau confirmed that agriculture is the top industry in the state with a contribution of some $88.4 billion to the economy. The study also revealed that 378,232 jobs are derived from agriculture, as well as $2.2 billion in state and local taxes and $17.5 billion in labor income.
According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the number of farms in Missouri dropped from 99,171 on 28.5 million acres of land in 2012 to 95,320 on 27.8 million acres. Despite the drop in farm numbers and acreage, though, Missouri continues to rank among the top 10 states in production of major commodities.
America's farms and farmers continue to be the most productive in the world. Each farm annually produces enough food and fiber for 166 people — 106 in the U.S. and 60 abroad. American consumers benefit from this bounty, yet spend less than 10 percent of their disposable income on food.
By 2050 the global population is expected to increase by 2.2 million people, meaning that farmers will have to grow about 70 percent more food than is now produced.
Agriculture matters to everyone. Food, clothing, fuel, medicine, entertainment, sports equipment, personal care products and school supplies would all be much different without it.