This is National Ag Week so, of course, we're focusing on the ag industry -- six stories about the status of family farms in America, the role of technology in feeding a rapidly rising population, suggestions on how to thank a local farmer, and more.
- According to the Corn & Soybean Digiest, National Ag Week is a good time to reflect on all the traditions and advancements that help make the U.S. agriculture industry second to none! The 2012 Census of Agriculture listed a total of 2.1 million farms in the U.S. Overall, U.S. farm numbers have generally been declining since World War II; however, farm numbers have been more stable since 1992.
- The USDA notes that the family farm remains the cornerstone of U.S. agriculture. Of the 2.1 million farms in the United States in 2012, 97 percent were family-owned operations.
An important reminder shared by The Capital Press, the USDA is urging farmers and landowners across the nation to finalize their decisions by March 31 on updating crop yield histories and reallocating base acres for new safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill.
- Gracy Olmstead recalls in a piece for The Federalist how her family used to gather on the back porch—great-grandpa, grandpa, father, siblings—and shuck sweet corn together. She shares some ideas on how to thank your local farmer.
This program in Alabama caught our eye: The Lauderdale County Cooperative Extension System is offering Operation Grow, which is geared toward veterans. “This is for all veterans, any age,” Chris Becker told the Times Daily in Florence. “If they stormed the beaches of Normandy and they want to learn about raising goats, come on and be a part of this.”
Stewart Collis, CTO and co-founder of AWhere, explains to radar.oreilly.com the challenge to global agriculture is two-fold: our growing population — expected to increase by another 2.4 billion people by 2050, and the increasing weather variability affecting our growing seasons and farmers’ abilities to produce and scale to accommodate that population.
If you are interested in more stories about the vital role technology plays in helping today's farmer, check out this blog post on how Alliance flotation tires are helping a North Carolina manure hauler.