Gasconade County Farm Bureau agency observes ‘Thank a Farmer Week’

Gasconade County Farm Bureau will observe Thank A Farmer Week Feb. 3-9.

Farmers around the world provide consumers with food choices, clothing, transportation, shelter and numerous items used every day, according to Missouri Farm Bureau.

“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,” Farm Bureau noted in a press release announcing the annual observance.

Missouri Farm Bureau and county Farm Bureau’s across the state are joining forces to celebrate the importance of agriculture 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.

“Agriculture is important to our daily lives and our community,” said Chery Fricke, Promotion and Education chairperson for Gasconade County Farm Bureau. “Because 98 percent of the population doesn’t farm, it is easy to take for granted the importance of our farmers. Thank a Farmer Week is a great time to recognize the important contribution made by farmers!”

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 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 Missouri with a contribution of $88.4 billion to the economy. The study 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 Missourians’ lives daily. In addition to food and clothing, agriculture provides fuel, medicine, entertainment, sports equipment, personal care products, school supplies and numerous other items used every day.