Grocery shoppers at Save-A-Lot in Bowling Green were pleasantly surprised by what they found in the check-out aisle on Thursday.
Waiting for the shoppers were members of the Pike County Farm Bureau Board, who greeted shoppers with $25 checks that the local families could use towards their grocery purchases. This community service event is part of the local Farm Bureau organization’s celebration of ‘Thank a Farmer Week.’
As has been the case for generations, agriculture remains the number one industry of Pike County and continues to be the county’s largest export.
Thank a Farmer Week is a celebration of the work that local farmers, such as those in Pike County, do each day to contribute to the country’s stable food supply.
According to Farm Bureau, this week in February has been designated as ‘Thank a Farmer Week’ to remind Americans that without the work of the previously mentioned farmers the nation would not be able to feed itself nor have one of the largest economies in the world.
Another benefit of this week’s recognition is that it gives farmers a chance to educate the public about the pricing of groceries.
According to Farm Bureau, of every retail dollar spent for food, 81 cents goes for marketing expenses. This includes processing, packaging, wholesaling, distributing, transporting, and retailing food products. The remaining 19 cents goes back to the farmer who uses it to pay for operating costs in providing raw products for food. The farmer’s share is used to purchase farm equipment, fertilizer, fuel, seed, feed and other input costs.
Missouri’s 99,171 farms on 28.5 million acres of land produce a wide variety of crops and livestock. Farmers are dedicated to stewardship of the land and animals that provide for all of us. Missouri Farm Bureau and county Farm Bureau’s across the state are joining forces to celebrate the importance of agriculture, February 3-9, during Celebrate Agriculture: Thank a Farmer Week!
America’s farms and farmers are the most productive in the world. Each farm annually produces enough food and fiber for 165 people, 106 in the U.S. and 59 abroad. American consumers benefit from this bounty, and the many choices it offers, while spending less than 10 percent of their disposable income on food. With a projected growth in global population to 9.8 billion by 2050, farmers around the world will have to grow 70 percent more food than is now produced.
Farm and ranch families account for less than 2 percent of the U.S. population. Across the United States, there are 2.1 million farms with 3.2 million farm operators. This number includes owners, their families, hired workers, tenants and renters or sharecroppers. Many farms today find multiple generations working together to produce food and fiber.
A 2016 study commissioned by the Missouri Department of Agriculture and Missouri Farm Bureau confirmed that agriculture is the top industry in our state with a contribution of some $88.4 billion to the economy. The study further revealed that 378,232 jobs, $2.2 billion in state/local taxes and $17.5 billion in labor income are derived from agriculture. Agriculture and the work of farmers impact our lives daily. In addition to food and clothing, agriculture provides fuel, medicine, entertainment, sports equipment, personal care products, school supplies and the list goes on.