This is the day, where, according to the agday.org website, we celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agriculture associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together on this day to recognize the contributions of agriculture.
The statistics are staggering. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture issued by the USDA in May 2014, the U.S. has more than 2 million farms and more than 914 million farm acres.
As you shop at your supermarket, think about this: More than ten billion bushels of corn for grain were harvested, and more than 2 billion bushels of wheat harvested and almost 3 billion bushels of soybeans. And, what about all those peanuts and sunflower seeds we eat at baseball games? Nearly 2 billion pounds of sunflower seeds were harvested, along with 6 billion pounds of peanuts.
But, these are just mere statistics. There are thousands of people behind the numbers making their living from agriculture and not just harvesting products for food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that from early colonial days when tobacco and cotton were the most important export commodities to today’s massive exports of grain, oilseeds, and processed foods, agriculture really does “feed” our economy. Even though farming today accounts for a relatively small share of U.S. gross domestic product, U.S. agricultural trade is a very significant contributor to the overall U.S. economy, with impact felt worldwide.