Growing up in rural South Dakota, surrounded by farms and ranches as far as the eye could see, I never gave the food supply chain a second thought. It was intertwined in everything I did—from calving cows to helping with the harvest of the crop—it was our way of life.
You can imagine my concern when I recently read that an astonishing 68 percent of consumers said they don’t know enough about their food and where it comes from, and 21 percent said they’re not at all knowledgeable, yet 92 percent of consumers say it is somewhat or very important to know where their food is coming from.* To me, that’s the perfect invitation for those of us working in agriculture to share everything we know to be good and true about farming. And National Agriculture Day is the perfect opportunity to showcase, educate and celebrate American agriculture.
Companies like CHS, and many others, exist to provide farmers, ranchers and their retailers with products and services they need to raise and market healthy, profitable crops and livestock. In many cases, the local cooperative is one of the largest employers in town.
Recently, CHS took a closer look at the true economic impact that CHS and local cooperatives generate across the country. The study found that CHS’ impact in rural communities supported more than 60,700 jobs directly and indirectly. That means for every job CHS creates itself, there are five more jobs supported in the community.
Having been around cooperatives my entire life I saw first-hand how farming and ranching contributed to my community. From buying equipment at the local dealership to financial support of organizations like 4-H and FFA that encourage young people to start a career in agriculture, all of it contributes to the health and vitality of rural America.
Tomorrow’s farmers are anxious to share their vision for agriculture, and that’s part of the Ag Day celebration too. One hundred students from 46 states will spend National Ag Day (March 21) in Washington, D.C., personally meeting with their elected members of Congress. They are proudly representing the future of farming and the agricultural industry.
Please join me in sharing a farm story with a friend, neighbor or colleague as we celebrate National Ag Day. If you’re lucky enough to know a farmer or rancher, tell them how much you appreciate what they do day in and day out.