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MARCH IS NATIONAL AGRICULTURE MONTH

Perhaps because March marks the beginning of the growing season, it has been declared National Agriculture Month. Tucked into these windy days, last week, March 20-26, was National Agriculture Week with March 22 being designated as National Agriculture Day.

Although National Ag Day was founded by the Agriculture Council of America (AVA) in 1973, the first National Ag Day wasn’t celebrated until 1979. Since then, the ACA has put efforts into creating awareness about the role of agriculture in modern society. This year’s celebration marked the 49th anniversary of National Ag Day, which is meant to remind citizens that agriculture is a part of all of us.

Dedicating its efforts to increasing the public’s awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society, the ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food, and fiber communities.

During National Agriculture Month, time is devoted not only to educating people about where food, fiber, and fuel come from but also for recognizing the contributions that producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies, and others make in feeding, clothing, and powering the world.

According to statistics presented by the U.S. Census Bureau, 386,531 men and 51,865 women are working as farmers and ranchers. Today, the average U.S. farmer feeds 155 people, growing twice as much food as his/her parents did while using less land, energy, water, and fewer emissions.

In a speech proclaiming March 22 as National Agriculture Day, President Joe Biden stated: “On National Agriculture Day, we recognize the unique and irreplaceable value that farmers, ranchers, foresters, farmworkers, and other agricultural stewards have contributed to our Nation’s past and present. America’s agriculture sector safeguards our Nation’s lands through sustainable management; ensures the health and safety of animals, plants, and people; provides a safe and abundant food supply; and facilitates opportunities for prosperity and economic development in rural America.”

According to the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, “agriculture remains the number one industry for Montana, outpacing mining, tourism and forestry products along with oil and gas. Montana agriculture is diverse and known throughout the world for its wheat, beef, pulse crops and barley. Plus, the state’s farmers and ranchers produce plenty of other agricultural products, including bees/honey, cherries, sugar beets, corn, canola, seed potatoes, dairy products, hogs, chickens/eggs, and more.”

Local FFA Chapters spent National Ag Day at Montana FFA CDE Days in Miles City where they were preparing for the 92nd Annual Montana FFA State Convention. Readers will find a story about this event in this issue of the newspaper.

Karyn Billmayer, Advisor for the Chinook Chapter of the FFA, commented: “Although we didn’t do anything locally for National Ag Day, it’s still on the agenda for when we get a chance to plan something fun for the elementary school. We have several Ag in the Classroom themed activities planned for the younger students when we determine what schedule works best for the elementary teachers.”

 
 
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