Happy Ag Day

Ag as in Agriculture.

I knew going into March – I would do a post for this as farming is something near and dear to my heart.

ag day

However most people really do not know what goes into getting there food from a field or pasture onto their plate.

So if you are ever on a country road and get stuck behind a tractor – instead of getting mad – tip your hat to them (or give an adorable under the chin wave).

The fact of the matter is – farmers do jobs – most people would not want to do – believe me I know.  Whether it is raising animals, farming grains or both – it is stressful work.  Especially as many of the circumstances around them getting paid are completely out of anyone’s control (i.e. weather).

I am not going to use this post as a means to discuss GMOs- as many times – this is entirely out of the hands of the farmer – farmers are not the ones to take issue with – as when they purchase the grains they plant – they are already modified (if in fact they have been genetically modified).  It’s not as if farmers have little science labs in their barns to mess with your corn. So keep taking your anger out on Monsanto – and other big GMO companies.  Maybe to – consider contacting your state governments and big grain manufacturers – about being able to supply GMO-free grains to farmers at a similar cost as to what they purchase for already.  Just a thought.

The addage of “don’t hate the player, hate the game” – totes mah-goats applies to farmers and gmo-crops.  Hate.the.game.  And do something about it.

So.  Here are some amazing fun facts about agriculture:

-About 40% of the land in the upper midwest is used specifically for agricultural use: either grains or livestock.

-Agriculture is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Michigan Economy

November2014-Michigan-Infograph-Map

Yes as you can see I love Michigan, and farmers.

-The United States and other developed countries are in, what is considered to be – the third industrial revolution: that has been characterized by advances in: biotechnology, genetic engineering, chemical fertilizers, and general mass production of agricultural goods.

-Many countries – are still thought to be in a form of the 2nd industrial revolution.

-Bananas are the number 1 fruit crop in the entire world

-Tractors were invented in the 1880’s

-Livestock farming feeds BILLIONS of people worldwide, and also employs ~ 1.3 billion people (~ 1 in 5 people work with livestock farming in some aspect).

-Guinea Pig farms can be found in Peru and Latin America…..learn something new every day ….

-There are ~2.2 million farms in the United States

-However farm and ranch families only comprise ~ 2% of the population

-In 2006 the average farmer grew enough food to feed 144 other people

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-Americans spend only 10% of their income on food – which is the lowest of any country

(yet how do our health care costs compare?… just a thought)

-Monsanto Company is the leading producer of genetically engineered seeds (no surprise here)

-The four major biotech crops in 2012 were soybeans, maize, cotton, & canola

-Total global cropland amounts to ~ 1.5 billion hectares – GMO’s comprise about 11% of that

So remember- the beef you buy in the store – it was raised and tended to – it didn’t just appear in your supermarket display.

While the hot button GMO continues to play out – become pro-active – and consider how you can help changing this – such as writing to your congressmen and women, and think about ways we can better get these GMO free grains into the hands of our devoted food handlers. 

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