Today is National Ag Day and Cathy Isom takes a look at different ways we can celebrate the hard work of America’s farms and farm families. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Just about everything we eat, wear and use comes from American agriculture. Each American farmer can feed about 144 people. Today marks the 44th year that the Agriculture Council of America leads the country in recognizing the hard work of America’s farms and farm families by celebrating National Agriculture Day. This year’s theme is Agriculture: Food for Life. Events will be held at the Nation’s capital as well as in classrooms and communities around the country. The National Ag Day program encourages everyone to:
- Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
- Appreciate the role ag plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
- Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy. And,
- Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture.
I’m Cathy Isom…
Why Celebrate Ag Day? Americans need to understand the value of agriculture in their daily lives.
Here are just some of the key reasons why it’s important to recognize – and celebrate – Ag Day each year:
- Increased knowledge of agriculture and nutrition allows individuals to make informed personal choices about diet and health.
- Informed citizens will be able to participate in establishing the policies that will support a competitive agricultural industry in this country and abroad.
- Employment opportunities exist across the board in agriculture. Career choices include:
- farm production
- agribusiness management and marketing
- agricultural research and engineering
- food science
- processing and retailing
- landscape architecture
- urban planning
- and other fields.
- Beginning in kindergarten and continuing through 12th grade, all students should receive some systematic instruction about agriculture.
- 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.
- Agricultural literacy includes an understanding of agriculture’s history and current economic, social and environmental significance to all Americans. This understanding includes some knowledge of food and fiber production, processing and domestic and international marketing.
“We promote agricultural literacy by highlighting an excellent book for children about agriculture during this week. Members typically place over 1,000 copies in schools, libraries and doctor’s offices each year!” Judy Roush, Ohio Farm Bureau
Advice from the Field
Careers in Agriculture
The most obvious careers are directly related to the farm or ranch. But did you know that only 10 percent of Americans are involved in traditional farming? If that is the case, then what other careers comprise the agricultural field? There are approximately 22 million people who work in agriculture related fields. Unlike agriculture of our grandparents’ day, today’s agriculture offers over 200 rewarding and challenging careers.
Agricultural careers may be divided into various categories. These include: 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.
Growth Job Market
According to the February 7, 2000 Issue of Farm Bureau News, published semimonthly by the American Farm Bureau Federation, “Food Scientists and engineers will be in the greatest demand in the agricultural job market over the next four years, according to a new Purdue University study. Annual job openings for U.S. food and agricultural sciences graduates are projected to be around 58,000, while the number of graduates for those jobs will be slightly more than 57,000.”