February 2, 2012

Farmers' Contributions to be Honored During Special Recognition Week

Missouri Farm Bureau and the 113 county Farm Bureau organizations across the state are declaring February 5-11, Thank a Farmer Week!

A farmer, as defined by Webster, is a person who farms; a person who operates a farm or cultivates land. Farmers provide food, clothing, shelter, transportation and so much more for all of us. Their role is often taken for granted in our society. Thank a Farmer Week celebrates their contribution to our livelihood.

Farmers today grow more food while using fewer resources than any time in history. With our changing marketplace, farmers provide an increasing variety of food items to meet consumer's demand. Thanks to technology and efficiencies in agriculture, one U.S. farmer today can provide food and fiber for 154 people, according to statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.

For the first time in human history, most people have little contact with the source of their food supply, relying on others to produce what is needed. According to the USDS, farm families make up about 2 percent of the U.S. population, yet they provide for themselves and the other 98 per cent.

Grocery stores are filled with an overwhelming number of choices of food products. Restaurant menus are printed with item upon item from which to choose. However, many people fail to make the connection between farmers and this supply of food, says David Jackson, County Board President.

Farmers provide an abundant food supply that is affordable and healthy. The most recent information from the USDA indicates American families and individuals spend, on average, 10 percent of their disposable personal income for food. Other countries spend a much larger percentageÖItaly, 14 percent; China, 33 percent; Philippines, 37 percent; Indonesia, 43 percent and Pakistan, 46 percent.

Farmers and ranchers also provide important ingredients for use in personal care products, construction, health care, manufacturing, entertainment, education, printing, sports and transportation. "Because there appears to be an endless supply of products, it is easy to forget they are the very beginning of our food supply," says Jackson. "We must remember not to take them for granted."

Agriculture is an important part of Scotland County's economy. Farm businesses give back to the community in many ways while they produce food and fiber for the world.

Join the Scotland County Farm Bureau as we pause to 'Thank Farmers' for a job well done during our special promotion February 5-11.

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