There is no greeting card or time-honored holiday tradition for National Agriculture Day, but it’s arguably one of the most important days of the year.
That’s because it’s a day to celebrate America’s farmers and ranchers and recognize their incredible contributions. After all, without farmers, we wouldn’t have food on our tables, clothes in our closets, or biofuels available at the pump.
There are approximately two million farms in America. That’s less than one percent of our nation working sunup to sundown (and sometimes all night long) to provide nearly 330 million Americans with an abundant and affordable supply of food, fiber and fuel.
While fewer and fewer people have a close connection to agriculture, our nation’s rich farming traditions live on in our farm families. In fact, about 98 percent of farms are family farms, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual America’s Diverse Family Farms report. These family farms are responsible for 87 percent of farm production.
At National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), we have spoken to family farmers across the country about the importance of protecting our farmers and ranchers. Farmers like Erica Wuthrich in Iowa. Erica grew up farming and is hoping to continue this legacy for generations to come.
“The majority of the families around here are farmers,” Erica told NCIS. “If we didn’t have the farming operations around here, it wouldn’t be good – it would be awful.”
As young farmers, Erica and her husband, Brent, rely on the stability provided by crop insurance to keep their farm growing, through good seasons – and bad. They’re not alone. Crop insurance is trusted by farmers to protect 460 million acres of farmland and more than $137 billion in food, fiber, and fuel.
So, as we share our gratitude for our farmers, it is equally important that we give them the tools that they need to succeed by maintaining a reliable farm safety net and a strong crop insurance program.
Happy National Agriculture Day!