March 18, 2010
Bronson Recognizes National Ag Day
Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson is urging consumers to understand the importance of America’s farmers as food producers and economic engines on National Ag Day. State and national agriculture officials across the nation are recognizing National Ag Day on March 20 to celebrate the abundant food supply farmers provide and their significant contributions to the economy in every state.
“I think the impact of the recent freeze shows how important our agriculture industry is,” Bronson said. “Farmers were not able to harvest for just over a week and we quickly saw the fruit and vegetable shortages and price increases that have resulted from the weather. But our farmers are resilient and immediately went back to work producing our food supply.”
Agriculture is the number one export in America and generates about 20 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. In Florida, agriculture is second only to tourism as a top industry in the state. It is a huge economic engine with a more than $100 billion impact and employing 700,000 people when taking into account the businesses that help support agriculture.
The Agriculture Council of America hosts the National Ag Day campaign in an effort to show consumers the contribution of agriculture in everyday lives. Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis, but many people don’t understand the extent of the industry’s impact on their quality of life.
“People may realize agriculture is responsible for our safe, wholesome food supply,” Bronson said. “But they may not think about cotton crops necessary for clothes and timber used for many products that are basic necessities.”
The education effort is particularly important in schools where many young people have little or no exposure to agriculture. By building awareness, industry leaders hope to encourage young people to choose a career in agriculture.
On March 23, Bronson plans to read to a group of young people on Florida Agriculture Literacy Day and speak to a group of about 100 students as part of Ag on the Hill Day at The Capitol. Bronson says the farming population is aging and it is important to get young people involved to generate new ideas and advanced technology to expand and improve the food supply.
For more information about Florida agriculture, visit Florida-Agriculture.com.
To learn more about National Ag Day, visit www.agday.org.
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