US celebrates National Agriculture Day

The United States has celebrated its National Agriculture Day, 25 March.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the following statement:

“Today and every day, we celebrate the extraordinary diversity and productivity of American agriculture. Farms and ranches of all forms and all sizes contribute to the safe, healthy, affordable food supply we enjoy in the United States.

Fittingly, Dr. Norman Borlaug is honored today with a statue at the U.S. Capitol, joining an array of American heroes commemorated in the National Statuary Hall. Dr. Borlaug’s statue reflects not only the magnitude of his own achievements, but the power of science to change lives in a positive way.

Dr. Borlaug’s legacy influences our work at USDA to equip the next generation of researchers and agricultural leaders with the sophisticated tools they’ll need to address the challenges of a changing climate and a growing global population.

On this National Agriculture Day, we thank the farmers, ranchers, and others at the heart of American agriculture, an industry that provides for our food and fiber needs, supports one in twelve jobs, and drives our nation’s economy.”

The National Farmers Union (NFU) is celebrating National Ag Day by highlighting the importance of family farming to food security both in the United States and around the world. The United Nations (U.N.) has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming.

“Family farmers constitute 96 percent of all farms in the United States and 45 percent of the world’s population makes its living directly from farming. Without family farmers, there would be no National Ag Day,” said Chandler Goule, NFU senior vice president of programs.

Delegates to the recent NFU convention passed a special order of business celebrating the International Year of Family Farming and “congratulating the world’s family farmers for their critical contributions to food security, environmental stewardship and rural economic development.”

“In spite of family farmers’ work, globally 870 million people still suffer from chronic undernourishment and a disproportionate number of them are farmers,” said Goule. “On this National Ag Day, I challenge all consumers and the agriculture community to come together to help solve our world’s food security challenges.”

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