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Share these ag fast facts with others

Hayhurst’s Hayloft: Interesting facts about the U.S. agriculture industry can spark thoughtful conversations.

Susan Hayhurst

June 7, 2024

2 Min Read
black beef calves in a pasture
KEEP IT GOING: Now it’s your turn to pass along these agriculture fast facts. They could help someone better understand how our nation’s farms operate. Allison Lund

As farmers and producers, we know much about what we do, but it never hurts to increase our agricultural literacy. Thanks to the American Farm Bureau Federation, I’ve discovered some 2021 farm facts that are great to include in any conversation you have.

Locally grown. Did you know that “about 8% of U.S. farmers market foods locally through direct-to-consumer or intermediate sales”? These include farmers or on-farm markets, food hubs, and Community Supported Agriculture.

Quite the diet. According to the report, “Over the course of a turkey’s life, the feed it eats will be changed approximately 10 times by a nutritionist to meet changing nutritional needs.”

Cows wearing bling! “On our farm, our cows wear ‘necklaces’ that help us keep them healthy,” says Wisconsin Farm Bureau member and farmer Carrie Mess. “Similar to fitness trackers worn by humans, cows wear collars that count their steps daily, and rumination is tracked with a microphone picking up the cow’s cud chewing and if it slows down.”

Affordable food. The report also states, “In 2020, the amount of disposable income U.S. consumers spent on food declined to 9%.” We should be grateful, because China, Mexico and Bangladesh spend 22%, 28% and 54%, respectively. In stark contrast to others’ food availability, Americans’ food celebrations include nearly $11 billion being spent just for Super Bowl Sunday.

Related:In parenting, open door is best policy

Women leaders. Today, each farm produces food and fiber for 172 people annually in the U.S. and abroad. There are 3.4 million U.S. farm operators who work on 2 million farms. And women now make up 36% of all farm operators.

Getting fishy. There are 2,931 aquaculture farms raising fish in the U.S.

Flower power. Top-producing floriculture states by value of flowers produced are California, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

We are truly a blessed nation. Let’s continue to herald our industry with grace.

About the Author(s)

Susan Hayhurst

Susan Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute, Ind.

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