Showing Farmer Appreciation During National Agriculture Week
This week is National Agriculture Week: one full week celebrating American agriculturalists and the commodities they produce. Throughout the year, there are numerous days, weeks and months recognizing these commodities or agriculture-related products: National Egg Day, National Burger Day, National Dairy Month, National Corn on the Cob Day, National Pig Day, and the list goes on. But this week, we celebrate them all.
When I think of farmer recognition and appreciation, I’ll always think of the “So God Made A Farmer” video by RAM Trucks that made its debut during the 2013 Superbowl. In just two minutes, this commercial grabbed the attention of every viewer in America and allowed them to see the truths of agriculture. All too often, agriculture is portrayed in a negative light. Farmers are commonly seen by the public as being selfish, closed-minded, or lacking interest in the well-being and quality of their product. This misconception is far from the truth, and this video conveys that. Of course, there will always be “bad apples” in agriculture, as there will be in any other industry. But the great majority of American farmers operate a small, family farm, often generational, and care deeply about their product and their impact on the environment. This video shows the late nights, early mornings, long hours, harsh weather, heartbreaks, headaches, and rewards of the field, portraying farmers as they truly are: dedicated and humble.
By 2050, our world’s population will be quickly approaching 10 billion people. Such a change will require farmers to produce 70% more than they currently are. That’s a lot of pressure! Fortunately, our farmers are currently implementing new and advanced technologies to increase their yields on the same amount of ground, making their operation more sustainable. At the rate they’re going now, they’ll be able to meet the needs of our growing population next year and in 30 years, but only with the support of consumers.
Farmers are also implementing new techniques in attempt to reduce their impact on the environment. An example of this is the issue of water quality in the Midwest. To do their part in eliminating this issue, agriculturalists have begun implementing new methods to safely dispose of their animals’ manure during the winter months, and are being certified in safe, environment-friendly fertilizer application to reduce the likelihood of agricultural field runoff. In addition, the planting of cover crops has become a popular method in reducing runoff during the winter months when other plants can’t grow. These plants reduce erosion by holding the soil in place while providing additional organic matter to the soil, therefore improving its health.
These practices and certifications are just a few among the many that farmers across America have begun implementing to improve the quality of their final products, improve the quality of living for their animals, and reduce their impact on their land and the environment. The agriculture industry is one that is non-negotiable for the livelihood of our country as well as the countries which rely on us for imported goods. It’s important that consumers understand the lengths American agriculturalists are going to in order to ensure their products are safe, healthy, and sustainably grown.
Watch the RAM Trucks Superbowl commercial entitled “So God Made A Farmer” to get a sense of what American farmers are really all about:
Happy National Ag Week! Thank a farmer for all they do!