JACKSON — “National Agriculture Week” was proclaimed in Jackson County this past week.
Jackson County Commissioners Paul Haller, Jon Hensler, and Donnie Willis issued a proclamation during their Tuesday, March 16 meeting, naming Monday, March 22 to Friday, March 26, as National Agriculture Week.
The proclamation, in part, states:
“Our supermarkets, grocery stores, and restaurants offer a tremendous selection of fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, and other food items, but we often forget the hardworking men and women whose skill and effort put that food on our table.
“American agriculture plays a crucial role in strengthening our economy and in providing food for people around the world. While producing an abundance of safe and affordable food and fiber, our farmers also provide a source of jobs in our community. When you factor in all the jobs involved in processing, distributing, and marketing food and fiber products, you see that American agriculture is truly everywhere and touches everyone in almost every way. American agriculture is our nation’s largest employer.
“More than 22 million people today work in the agricultural industry. World population is expected to reach 7.9 billion by the year 2021, and American agriculture is poised to reach the demands of feeding this growing population.”
On hand for the reading of the proclamation were Jackson-Vinton Farm Bureau Senior Organization Director Kim Harless, Jackson-Vinton Farm Bureau Board President Mickey Scott, and JVFB board member Arnold Coffey.
In Jackson County, these figures were given based on the 2017 Census of Agriculture data. There are 508 farms in Jackson County. That totals 67,446 acres of farmland with the average size of a farm at 133 acres.
The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land - whether rural or urban - growing fruit, vegetables, or some food animals count if $1,000 or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year.
The Census of Agriculture, taken only once every five years, looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income, and expenditures. For America’s farmers and ranchers, the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity. The next count will take place in 2022. If you are operating a new farm or ranch sign up to be counted at https://www.agcounts.usda.gov/static/get-counted.html.
Harless, Scott, and Coffey also reminded commissioners that Tuesday, March 23, is National Ag Day, and presented each commissioner a basket filled with locally grown and produced items. National Ag Day is a time when producers and others gather to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture.