Today is National Ag Day!

by | Mar 22, 2022

This marks the 49th year for National Ag Week – a week dedicated to educating people about agriculture’s significant contributions to the economy and to our well being as a country. As North Carolina’s No. 1 industry at $95.9 billion, we have a lot to be thankful for with North Carolina agriculture and agribusiness.

Today’s Topic with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis
  • I don’t know if listeners know this or not, but today is National Ag Day and this week is National Ag Week. In fact, it’s the 49th year it has been celebrated and brought attention to the contributions of agriculture and agribusiness.
  • I’m going to be honest and say right up front that I think EVERY day should be Ag Day. After all, we connect with agriculture EVERY day when we eat and put on clothes or return to our houses.
  • This celebration is designed to raise awareness of agriculture and agribusiness and I will certainly agree with that goal. We need people to understand that food and fiber comes from a farm and the hard work of farmers and agribusiness owners.
  • That is even more important as we continue to experience supply chain issues with products in grocery stores. I can tell you that farmers across our state are working hard every day to be sure we have food products to enjoy.
  • And North Carolina is especially blessed because of the variety of crops, meats and foods we grow, catch and make here.
  • As we celebrate National Ag Day, let’s look at how much it does contribute here in our state.
  • Agriculture and agribusiness is our No. 1 industry at $95.9 billion. As we continue to invest in this industry through agricultural research, state-of-the-art labs and research facilities, and a focus on attracting more food manufacturing, I am confident that we will soon top the $100 billion mark in agricultural production and agribusiness.
  • I look forward to that day, but I can assure you we won’t celebrate for very long. By building on our strengths and harnessing advances through emerging technology, we will work to move the industry toward the next and bigger milestone.
  • While some people may look at agricultural production as an industry of the past, I do not. As you drive across this state and see the farm and timberland that make up the bulk of our land, you can see why North Carolina is a national leader in agriculture. I intend for it to stay that way although our farmers are facing significant challenges today.
  • Here is a snapshot of our rankings in agricultural production:
  • o No. 1 in flue-cured tobacco, producing 78.7 percent of the total U.S. crop
  • o No. 1 in sweet potatoes, growing 61 percent of the total U.S. crop
  • o No. 1 in poultry and egg cash receipts at over $4.7 billion
  • o No. 2 in pig crop at 19.6 million head
  • o No. 2 in turkeys at 31 million head
  • o No. 3 in hogs and pigs at 9.5 million
  • o No. 4 in cucumbers at $25.4 million in production
  • o No. 4 in broilers at 916 million head
  • o No. 5 in peanuts at 443 million pounds or $92.9 million
  • o No. 5 in upland cotton in over 1 million bales produced
  • o No. 5 in bell peppers at 552,000 cwt.
  • We can all support North Carolina farmers and agribusiness owners by buying local. And as we celebrate National Ag Day and Week, I would encourage you to do that.
  • Look for farm fresh products at farmers markets, grocery stores, roadside stands and in restaurants. If you don’t see local products, talk with your store manager or restaurant owner and encourage them to source local products when they are in season.
  • It is important that we all do our part to support local producers because less than 2 percent of the world population feeds us. We need farmers to be successful. We need to show young people that there is a future in agriculture, and we need to ensure as a state and as a country that we can feed ourselves.
  • If everyone listening to this broadcast purchased one local food product, it would make a big difference at the farm level.
  • I am proud that agriculture and agribusiness fuels our economy and that we play a critical role in our food supply.
  • If you don’t think about where the food you enjoy every day comes from, be grateful. That means a farmer and an agribusiness owner has been successful in helping ensure our grocery store shelves, farmers markets and restaurants have enough products to meet our demand.
  • And, if you see a farmer today, be sure to thank them for everything they do!