By Matt Reese
Today is National Ag Day and, to be quite frank, this is not really that big of a deal to me, or my family. This morning, for example, I got up and went outside to feed the livestock hay and grain, let the chickens out and gathered eggs just like I do every other day.
I suspect most people actively involved in farming take similar action to commemorate Ag Day — nothing out of the ordinary. And, quite frankly, that is the problem today and every day. The purpose of National Ag Day, and the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) that started it, is to increase the public awareness of
agriculture’s vital role in our society. The Agriculture Council of America and the National Ag Day program started in 1973.
The ACA believes that every American should:
• Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
• Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
• Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
• Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.
Really, these goals should already be accomplished, but we continue to run into the same old problem that the farmers producing food are so few far between that they can only develop relationships with relatively few people. Plus, farmers are so busy producing food that they really don’t have all that much time to spend educating others about it.
With this in mind, here are some ideas that we do at the Reese house to commemorate Ag Day all year long:
• Arrange a visit to a local school to tell the students about what you do on the farm and relate it to wheat they are learning.
• Start a conversation at the meat or deli counter at the grocery store about the origins of the food (my wife really does this).
While National Ag Day may be just like most every other day on the farm, maybe we should treat most every other day like it is National Ag Day.