Agriculture plays an essential role in every person’s life each day, yet many of us do not know or appreciate how our food is produced. As part of a nationwide effort to educate people about the immense effort which goes into growing food and the importance of agriculture in our daily lives, The American Council of Agriculture founded National Agriculture Day in 1973, and this year’s celebration is set for March 18, 2015. This is an especially important message to impress upon our nation’s youth, educating children on this topic from a young age is vital to the sustainability of our country’s food supply,
Bill Buckner, president and CEO of the Noble Foundation explains: “Every American should understand how the food we eat and the seemingly endless stream of goods from agriculture are produced. We must value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy. Nothing is more fundamental to our existence than food and the land it springs from.” Established in 1945 by Lloyd Noble, The Noble Foundation is the largest nonprofit, plant science and agricultural institute in the United States. The Foundation’s main focus is advancing agricultural science and practice by conducting field and laboratory research, and consulting with farmers and ranchers in the Southern Great Plains. They have assisted agricultural producers develop hardier plants for their farms and have performed research that has shaped the industry as we know it.
The planet’s population is projected to increase to over 9 billion in the next 40 years. This means that agricultural outputs will need to increase by 70% to meet those needs. This challenge already appears insurmountable and is compounded by the rapidly declining amounts of quality land due to desertification and urban sprawl, decreasing availability of water and diminished soil resources as well as the need for implementation of more efficient agricultural inputs. Buckner continues to emphasize the need to continued outreach, education, support and change: “These are real challenges that will affect us all. We cannot run from them. We must face them together. We must increase our commitment to agricultural research and our support to our farmers and ranchers. That is why we celebrate National Ag Day. These men and women are the stewards of the land. For generations, they have provided safe, affordable, abundant food for our families. In the next generation, they will have to do even more.”
The Noble Foundation is one of many organizations which is currently focusing on worldwide agricultural products, producers and the industry as a whole as we move into a daunting future. Industry support is integral to finding solutions to the looming agricultural crisis on local, regional and global levels. The Noble Foundation will celebrate National Agriculture Day with special stories, facts and videos on the organization’s Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the week. Join the conversations by following @noblefoundation and using #agday2015.