Save the Date: National Agriculture Day is Coming Soon
Photo by Melody

Save the Date: National Agriculture Day is Coming Soon

By Paul Rodman (paulgrow)March 12, 2013
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National Agriculture Week was organized by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) 40 years ago and is celebrated each March.

Gardening picture

The ACA is a nonprofit organization that dedicates its efforts to increasing the public's awareness of agriculture's vital role in our society. The council's primary initiative is to conduct the National Ag Day Program which occurs in March of every year. 

The goals of the national program include helping every American to

  • understand how food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced;
  • value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy; and
  • appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products               

National Ag Day occurs during National Ag Week, and recognizes and celebrates the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.

Food and fiber don't just arrive at the grocery or clothing store or magically appear on our dinner table or in our closet. There's an entire industry dedicated to providing plentiful and safe food for consumption as well as a wide range of comfortable, fashionable clothing choices. We rely on agriculture for the very necessities of life. From beef and pork to cotton and corn, agriculture is working harder than ever to meet the needs of Americans and others around the world.

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Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis. But too few people truly understand this contribution. This is particularly the case in our schools, where students may only be exposed to agriculture if they enroll in related vocational training. By building awareness, the Agriculture Council of America is encouraging young people to consider career opportunities in agriculture.

Each American farmer feeds more than 144 people each year, a dramatic increase from 25 people in the 1960s. Quite simply, American agriculture is doing more - and doing it better. As the world population soars, there is an even greater demand for the food and fiber produced in the United States.

Fun Facts about Food


Honey

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  • A hive of bees flies over 55,000 miles to bring you one pound of honey. A honeybee can fly 15 miles per hour.
  • Honeybees must tap two million flowers to make one pound of honey. Each worker honey bee makes 1/12th teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
  • Honeybees visit 50-100 flowers during one honey collecting trip. Bees have been producing honey from flowering plants for at least 10 million years, and maybe even as long as 20 million years!
  • Flowers and other blossoming plants have nectarines that produce sugary nectar. Worker bees suck up the nectar and water and store it in a special honey stomach. When the stomach is full the bee returns to the hive and puts the nectar in an empty honeycomb. Natural chemicals from the bee's head glands and the evaporation of the water from the nectar change the nectar into honey.
  • In one day a honeybee can fly 12 miles and pollinate up to 10,000 flowers.
  • Honeybee workers must visit 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey

Udderly Amazing

  • In a year's time a dairy cow produces 1,500 gallons or 6,000 quarts of milk. A Jersey cow will give as much as 3 to 4 gallons or around 16 quarts of milk each day.
  • Dairy cows provide us with milk and milk by-products like cheese, butter, and ice cream. In addition, milk is also used to manufacture glue, paint, and plastics.
  • Straight from the cow, the temperature of cow's milk is about 97 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The average U.S. dairy cow produces 22.5 quarts of milk each day. That's about 16,000 glasses of milk per year - enough for about 40 people. One cow can give 200,000 glasses of milk in a lifetime.
  • It takes approximately 1.4 gallons of milk to make 1 gallon of ice cream.
  • Cheese was first made over 4,000 years ago in Asia.

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  • A cow has 4 stomachs. They are the rumen, where the food is first stored, the reticulum where food that has been more thoroughly chewed is stored once the cow has chewed the cud and has swallowed it; the omasum where extra water is squeezed out, and finally the food goes to the abomasum. Some of the digested food is then stored in the cow's udder where it is made into milk.
  • Cows are ruminants or cud-chewing animals eating hay, corn, soybeans, grass, wheat, and ensilage. Each cow eats 20 to 25 pounds of grain, 40 to 60 pounds of ensilage, 30 pounds of hay and drinks about 15 to 25 gallons of water a day.
  • Cows are sedentary animals spending up to 8 hours a day chewing the cud while standing still or lying down to rest after grazing. When going to be milked, a certain cow in an established herd always leads the others with the weaker and older cattle trailing behind the group.
  • A typical, full grown Holstein cow weighs about 1,400 pounds and produces 60 pounds of milk per day.
  • One day's production is 2.6 pounds of butter or 7 gallons of milk or 6 pounds of cheese.
  • A dairy cow consumes 35 gallons of water, 20 pounds of grain and concentrated feed and 35 pounds of hay or silage (a mixture of corn and grass) in just one day.

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  • It usually takes about 20 minutes for a cow to be milked. On average a cow is milked 2 to 3 times a day.

  Hamburger meat from a single steer will make about 720 quarter pound hamburger patties. That's enough for  a family of 4 to enjoy hamburgers each day for nearly 6 months.

5 Servings of Fruits & Vegetables A Day

  • Onions contain a mild antibiotic that fights infections, soothes burns, tames bee stings and relieves the itch of athletes foot.
  • Archeologists have found evidence that humans have enjoyed eating apples since 6500 B.C. Each of us eats more than 19 pounds of apples annually.
  • Grapes are one of the oldest cultivated fruits. They have been around for more than 8,000 years.

• Americans eat about 125 pounds of potatoes a year, about half from fresh potatoes and half in processed foods.

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That's really what this day is all about . . . recognizing the role of agriculture - and celebrating it.


  About Paul Rodman  
Paul RodmanPaul Rodman has been gardening for over 45 years. He is an Advanced Master Gardener, and American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian. He is President Emertius of the Western Wayne County Master Gardener Association in Wayne County, Michigan. He currently serves as the greenhouse chairman of this group. Rodman has amassed over 5500 volunteer hours in the Master Gardener program. Rodman is the garden columnist for The News Herald newspaper, in Southgate, Michigan. He has also written for the Organic Gardening.com web site. He is a certified Master Canner and has taught classes on Home Food Preserving for 7 years. He has lectured on various gardening topics throughout southeastern Michigan. His favorite pastime is teaching children about gardening. For the past several years he has conducted classes for second grade students teaching them about subjects ranging from vermi-composting to propagation.

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