National Ag Week
National Ag Week is next week, March 21-27, 2023, and National Ag Day starts off the week on Tuesday, March 21. This will be the 50th celebration of National Ag Day. It was founded to recognize and celebrate the insurmountable effect Agriculture has on every single person’s life. Every bite of food you have ever consumed, from pureed sweet potatoes and carrots as an infant to the milk and cereal you had this morning. I think about the number of potatoes and beers that will be consumed to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. Now, not the best example for our national Ag Day, but approximately 13 million pints of the Irish beer, Guinness will be consumed worldwide.
I don’t care if you drink soy milk, oat milk, or goat milk. It all came from agriculture! There are farms and farmers right here in our county and our state of Indiana that grew the oats and wheat that fed you today or yesterday. Seriously. Now, the barley in your Guinness likely didn’t come from Indiana. But, the soy or oil-based drinking straws which are becoming more common at chain restaurants did.
Your favorite lucky shirt for your favorite March Madness team is likely made of cotton. The gasoline in your car is a blend of ethanol and gasoline.
Everything in agriculture comes from our soil, water, and sunlight. When I reflect like this, I am in complete awe of it all. I often think about the quote, “no man is an island.” We are all connected. We grow corn and soy up here in the Wabash River Valley and our water runs to the Mississippi River. South of us, the water is used to grow the cotton that ends up on our backs to support our favorite school. Think about how far your orange juice traveled and the jobs it supported along the way from Florida to your table.
I want to be so bold as to ask a task of you, reader, this week. I ask you to think about how you contribute to agriculture and identify someone in your circle that plays a part in this super-connected system of agriculture. Then, thank them.
To go a step further, I ask that you thank a farmer this week. Thank the turkey farmers, beef growers, thank your neighbor that keeps bees, and the neighbor that shares their excess tomatoes and cucumbers. Thank the food scientists, genetic plant breeders, conservationists, animal nutritionists, and grape growers. Thank your delivery driver, thank your grocery store clerk.
So, to all the farmers, growers, beekeepers, gardeners, food scientists, animal nutritionists, plant breeders, conservationists, horticulturalists, delivery drivers, grocers, and oh so many more out there that play a part in agriculture; THANK YOU.
For more information about Ag day, go to agday.org.
Master Gardner Plant Sale is April 29, 2023 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Fairgrounds
Tricia Herr is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator for the Montgomery County Purdue Extension Office. She can be reached at [email protected] .