NEWS BITE: Ag Day Celebrates 365 Days of Agriculture

Think about the last time you had a meal. When you had that sandwich, did you think about where that sliced tomato on your sandwich came from? Who carefully picked your apple that you ate this morning? Which family got up before sunrise to make sure that you had milk for your cereal? For many Americans, it is often easy to take for granted how our food got to our plate. Fortunately, a day has been designated each year to recognize the sacrifices farmers and ranchers, their families, and many others make to provide us with a safe, healthful, and abundant food supply, both in the U.S. and around the world. They work year round, from sun up to sun down, in the frigid cold and in 100-degree heat so that we can have good-tasting, high-quality, and affordable food on our plates each day. 

National Ag Day was just held on March 25, 2014 and focused on the theme, "Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed.”

National Ag Day was established in 1973 by the National Agriculture Council  as a day to not only thank the men and women who provide us with safe, nutritious food, but to also remind Americans how important agriculture in the classroom is and the many career opportunities that agriculture can provide. On this day each year, farmers, agricultural groups, food and agriculture companies, universities, and government agencies join together to celebrate, raise awareness, and participate in agriculture-related events across the U.S. Activities on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC are attended by producers and other friends of agriculture, including student leaders from groups such as the National FFA Organization and 4-H Youth Development Organization.

In the last several years, Americans have increasingly settled in urban areas, their children without the benefit of a direct connection to how their food is grown and produced. Therefore, not only is it more important than ever to share the story of agriculture, but it is also equally important to teach children about where their food comes from, which is a missing link in many of today's formal education efforts.

The Alliance to Feed the Future – an umbrella network of scientific societies, universities, education and communication organizations, and industry and commodity groups – supports National Ag Day and shares its mission to raise awareness and celebrate the abundance made possible through agriculture. The Alliance attended multiple events over the course of three days of activities, including a screening of the new documentary, “Farmland,” which provides an intimate look at the lives of young American farmers and ranchers. In addition, the late agriculture visionary, Norman Borlaug was commemorated by the State of Iowa with a new statue that was unveiled in the Capitol Rotunda, an enormous honor recognizing the importance of science and technology to ensure sufficient food for the growing global population.

Throughout the festivities, the Alliance posted a series of blog posts on this year’s Ag Day theme, “365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed,” to the Alliance blog. In addition, the Alliance was featured in a guest blog post on the Ag Day blog and promoted its educational curricula on the Science of Feeding the World.

For more information about National Ag Day, visit www.agday.org

For more information on the Alliance to Feed the Future, visit www.alliancetofeedthefuture.org