Happy National Farmer’s Day!
Happy National Farmer’s Day! This national day is observed every October 12th to celebrate the working farmers and ranchers across the United States and pay tribute to the hard work and sacrifice that keeps our world fed. From the fruits and vegetables at your local farmers market and grocery stores to the grain that feeds our civil and livestock populations, American agricultural producers and cooperatives provide an abundant domestic food supply that is one of the safest in the world.
Farm and ranch families make up less than 21% of the U.S. population but feed over 332 million people. In 2020, 19.7 million full and part-time jobs were related to the agricultural and food sectors—10.3 percent of total U.S. employment.
You might even be surprised by these Farm Bureau Fast Facts:
- One U.S. farm feeds 166 people annually in the U.S. and abroad. The global population is expected to increase by 2.2 billion by 2050, which means the world’s farmers will have to grow about 70% more food than what is now produced.
- About 25% of all farmers are beginning farmers (in business for less than ten years); their average age is 46.
- A whopping 40% of all food grown and produced in the U.S. is never eaten. And Americans toss about 25% of food purchases.
Taking time to honor and draw attention to the food producers on National Farmer’s Day brings much-needed attention to the agriculture industry.
What is National Farmer’s Day?
This day honors the hardworking farmers and ranchers responsible for putting food on the table. It’s unclear who founded the holiday, but references to the celebration go back to the 1800s. Originally it was called Old Farmer’s Day.
The date—October 12—was chosen because it closely aligns with the end of the harvesting season. Every three years, the celebration aligns with the Harvest Moon. Harvest festivities originated in ancient times, with the traditions carried forward throughout history.
Traditionally, farmers in England, Ireland, and Scotland held “Harvest Home” events to bring the local community together to share the fruits of a bountiful harvest. The traditions continued in the United States, and though fewer in number than they once were, towns across the country continue to host “Harvest Home” dinners or festivities.
One of the longest-running events is in Loranger, Louisiana. The community’s Old Farmer’s Day highlights old-time farming techniques. Though much of agriculture and farming today is mechanized with the use of artificial intelligence, drones, and precision farming this group recognizes the wisdom and hard work that came before machinery. It features draft-horse-powered field work and traditional farm activities ranging from weaving to pottery, lard making, and cornmeal grinding.
How Can I Celebrate National Farmer’s Day?
The general population has fewer and fewer personal connections with agriculture. You can help them better understand what it takes to produce the products they expect to find at the grocery store. Here are a few ways you can use social media to share the message:
- Create themed posts throughout October to showcase different aspects of your operation.
- Use #NationalFarmersDay on your social media platform(s) to amplify the message.
Highlight agriculture’s commitment to sustainability. Need ideas on talking points? Consider these:
- More than half of American food producers purposefully nurture wildlife habitats.2
- There has been a 34% decline in water and wind erosion through strategic stewardship.3
- Dairy farms’ efficiency has steadily decreased the amount of methane the industry adds to the environment. Since 2013, methane emissions In California have been reduced by 25%4.
While October 12 is National Farmer’s Day, you can support and promote the meaning behind the holiday year-round. Unsure how to get started? Consider this list:
- Inviting the community for tours and demonstrations at your farm operation.
- Partnering with local schools to provide fresh food for cafeterias. Deepen the connection with an on-site or virtual tour to show kids how their food is raised.
- Participating in your annual festivals designed to highlight local producers. For example, New York maple sugar makers can opt to join the Annual Maple Festival. The statewide initiative boosts visibility for its members.
- Teaming up with local organizations to spotlight farm-to-table products. For example, the Clinton County Leadership Institute in Ohio hosts “Dinner in the Fields” every August. The fundraiser is held on a farm, and the menu features local farm-raised products.
What Other Farm Holidays Exist?
There are numerous food-related holidays throughout the year. This shortlist is an example of days for recognizing the products farmers and ranchers produce to feed the world.
- National Dairy Month (June)
- National Watermelon Day (August 3)
- National Pickle Day (November 14)
- National Maple Syrup Day (December 17)
- World Food Day (October 16)
No Farms, No Food
The American Farmland Trusts #NoFarmsNoFood movement underscores the importance of taking time to honor and recognize agricultural producers’ contributions. Without farmers, grocery store shelves would be sparse, and family meals a little less joyful. So, this October 12, celebrate farmers’ commitment to feeding the world.
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