It's National Ag Day, a day dedicated to increasing public awareness of agriculture's vital role in U.S. society.
It is organized by the Agriculture Council of America, which 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.
President Joe Biden issued a proclamation Monday declaring March 23 National Ag day and called upon all Americans to join him in appreciation for the nation's farmers, ranchers, foresters, farmworkers and those who work in agriculture across the nation.
According to the latest Feeding the Economy report from BIO, the agricultural industry creates more than 40 million U.S. jobs and $2 trillion in wages.
Here's other highlights from the report:
- The U.S. food and agriculture sectors generate about a fifth of the nation's economic activity and directly support nearly 20 million jobs, equaling 13% of the nation's employment.
- In the U.S., there are 19 million direct jobs in agriculture and food processing, with wages equal to $683.45 billion in 2020.
- U.S. food and agriculture industries paid $797.22 billion in business taxes in 2020.
- U.S. food and agriculture exports were valued at $155.58 billion in 2020.
The Independent Community Bankers of America, who provide 80% of all financing to agriculture, recognized Ag Day with a few ag facts:
- Community banks provide about $130 billion in agriculture loans.
- Americans spend less than 10% of their disposable income on food.
- The typical American farmer produces enough food and fiber to feed 166 people.
“American agriculture is the foundation of our country and serves an essential role in supporting our nation’s food supply and bolstering our economy,” said ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey in a media statement. “Our nation’s community bankers look forward to building on their tradition of service to America’s farmers and ranchers. Now more than ever, we are here to support them.”
Messages from Biden administration
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan issued a statement that read, in part: "Every day, American farmers, ranchers, and laborers work tirelessly for the food on our tables, clothes on our backs, and fuel to power our daily lives.
"This past year magnified the agriculture community’s unwavering resilience, sacrifice, and indispensable contributions to American life. A strong and prosperous agricultural sector is essential to a strong and prosperous economy.
"On National Agriculture Day, let’s express our gratitude for the long days, the determined work ethic, and bountiful food supply."
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a National Ag Day message.
And #AgDay21 is filling our Twitter feed.