It's National Ag Week!
Agriculture is an amazing industry. If we had to guess, we would say that you would be hard pressed to find another industry in the United States as diverse as agriculture. Agriculture is:
- Small and large
- Part time and full time
- Grains, livestock, fruits, vegetables, fiber, flowers and many other crops and commodities
- Organic and conventional
- Products sold locally, and globally
- A fourth generation farm and someone who has decided to make a career change
- Growing a single crop, or a wide array of different products
- Days full of sunshine and unending rain
- And so much more.
And that is what makes it work. As diverse as agriculture is, consumers are just a diverse. And having many different types of producers helps to meet the needs of the many different types of consumers!
And yet, with all the differences and diversity in agriculture, there are still many similarities as well. Of the approximately 2.1 million farms in America, more than 98% of them are operated by families. They could be individuals, family partnerships or family corporations, but they are operated by families. And those families make up only 2% of the U.S. population. Added to that, all farmers, regardless of crop or size, are stewards of the land. They have to be; they depend on the land to make a living. They are the original environmentalist and are always looking for ways to improve soil health and water quality and ensure that the land remains viable for future generations. And finally, they are passionate about what they are doing. Agriculture is not an easy industry, and those that work in it have to have a drive and passion for what they do.
As we celebrate National Agriculture Week this week, we wanted to share some facts about U.S., Virginia and West Virginia Agriculture with you…and encourage you to take a moment to visit with a local farm, learn about what they do, and why; and thank them for everything they do to provide food and fiber for all of us each and every day.
The Farm Credit Knowledge Center supports all types of agriculture. We strive to share relevant, fact based content from trusted and reliable sources to help share information that will be of benefit to both agriculture producers and consumers.