Thank a Farmer Week observed in Oregon County

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Thanks to farmers not only do we have food supplies available in grocery stores, but resources from farmers are used for many other day-to-day items and are a resource for items such as clothing, fuel, medicine, entertainment, sports, personal care and school supplies. In honor of the contribution of farmers, Missouri Farm Bureau is celebrating Thank a Farmer Week from Feb. 4 through Feb. 10.

According to the Missouri Agriculture 2016 Economic Contributions of Agriculture and Forestry for Oregon County, agriculture, forestry and related industries provide 1,205 jobs with sales of $146.4 million. There were 752 farms with the average size being 338 acres of the 253,838 acres of farmland in the county.

In a press release from Farm Bureau Insurance, “America’s farms and farmers are the most productive in the world. Each farm annually produces enough food and fiber for 165 people, 106 in the U.S. and 59 abroad. American consumers benefit from this bounty, and the many choices it offers, while spending less than 10 percent of their disposable income on food. With a projected growth in global population by 2050, farmers around the world will have to grow 70 percent more food than is now produced.”

Less than two percent of the population in the United States are farm and ranch families. “Across the United States, there are 2.1 million farms with 3.2 million farm operators. This number includes owners, their families, hired workers, tenants and renters or sharecroppers. Many farms today find multiple generations working together to produce food and fiber.”

In 2016, the Missouri Department of Agriculture and Missouri Farm Bureau determined through a study, agriculture is the top industry in the state and economically contributes approximately $88.4 billion. “The study revealed that in 2016, agriculture provided 378,000 jobs, $2.2 billion in state/local taxes and $17.5 billion in labor income. This information drives home the importance of agriculture. The labors of agriculture impact our lives each day. In addition to food, agriculture provides clothing, fuel, medicine, entertainment, sports equipment, personal care products, school supplies and the list goes on.”

“Agriculture is important to our daily lives and our community. Because 98 percent of the population doesn’t farm, it is easy to take for granted the importance of our farmers,” Mike Crews (Oregon County president) says. “Celebrate Agriculture: Thank a Farmer Week is a great time to recognize the important contribution made by farmers!”

According to www.mofb.org, “Despite increases in early 2009, food prices have stabilized and in some instances dropped. Much of the increase was related to the escalating cost of energy. Remember the crude oil price topping $140 per barrel impacting fuel prices? Add increased labor costs of approximately 19 percent to the mix and it all trickles down to the consumer in higher food prices.”

“Of every retail dollar spent for food, 81 cents goes for marketing expenses. This includes processing, packaging, wholesaling, distributing, transporting and retailing food products. The remaining 19 cents goes back to the farmer who uses it to pay for operating costs in providing raw products for food. The farmer’s share is used to purchase farm equipment, fertilizer, fuel, seed, feed and other input costs.”

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