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National Ag Day is March 20

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Jeff S. Davis, executive director of Gloucester’s USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), invites everyone to celebrate National Agriculture Day on March 20, and support the row crop farmers, fruit and vegetable producers, food scientists, livestock ranchers, equipment manufacturers and others who will take our country’s agriculture industry into the future.

Middlesex County has 100 farms with 14,000 harvested cropland acres annually. By crop, the breakdown is:

  • corn for grain, 5,700 acres;
  • soybeans 6,000 acres;
  • wheat 2,700 acres;
  • and all hay , 1,600 acres.

“American agriculture is doing more—and doing it more efficiently—than ever before,” said Davis. “Today, each American farmer feeds more than 130 people. In 1960, each farmer fed 28 people. Innovations in farming techniques and technology have increased efficiency in the food production process.”

But the industry provides more than food, feed and fiber, said Davis. It also produces biofuels, solvents, lubricants, plastics, building materials and more. FSA also administers the largest conservation program on private lands through its Conservation Reserve Program.

“We are proud to honor American farmers and celebrate their contribution to the nation and the world on National Agriculture Day,” Davis said. “The agriculture industry is the foundation of our nation’s economy, and farmers are essential to keeping that economy strong.”

Today, more than 22 million people work in the agriculture industry. This includes careers in everything from food chemistry to banking to commodity trading. And the job descriptions of tomorrow’s agriculture professionals may look quite different because of advances in farming technology and the broad opportunities that extend far beyond the field.

National Agriculture Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA). ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public’s awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society.

posted 03.19.2009

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