Agriculture is everyone’s culture so when we celebrate Ag Day on March 24th everyone is welcome to the table. Many people picture a barn, a tractor, maybe a field of corn, vegetables at a Farmer’s Market or farm animals when they think of agriculture. Agriculture is much more than those of us planting crops and caring for animals to produce food. Agriculture connects everyone from researchers in the lab to families in the home into one large community.
When I was growing up the word agriculture was a synonym for farming. Corn fields surrounded my childhood home with farms nearby even though our home was not on a farm. I never thought of myself as part of the ag community because I was not a farmer. In the past decades many farmers and ranchers have come to appreciate the role consumers have with a culture that provides food, fiber and fuel.
Corn is a crop we are able to utilize in Nebraska for a variety of purposes including food for animals and fuel for cars. We grow field corn to feed to our cattle. Nebraska is also a top state for growing popcorn. There are numerous gardeners in our state who grow sweet corn to enjoy eating during late summer. You can read more about the history of corn in Nebraska by clicking here.
Farmers and ranchers have worked hard to offer consumers a wide variety of food choices based on production methods, diet needs, sourcing methods and much more. Some farmers and ranchers are able to direct market the food they raise while many others have products you will find on your grocery store shelves. My husband and I do not direct market any beef but are just as committed to safety and quality as if we did.
Our life is agriculture because we feed cattle and grow row crops. Your life is agriculture because you eat food, wear clothes and possibly use ethanol for fuel. Together, we can work to make sure our families enjoy plenty of food choices while making sure our resources are utilized in a way to build the health of our planet.
If you would like to learn more interesting facts about beef or agriculture with some fun activities for kids you can click on these links here and here. While the facts can help us understand more about agriculture, it is always the people that matter the most!