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Setting the Table for the Future of Agriculture on National Ag Day

AFBF Staff

photo credit: AFBF Photo/Morgan Walker

The U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted a National Ag Day event Tuesday morning which included speeches from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and American Farm Bureau (AFB) President Zippy Duvall. A group of college students also held a panel discussion on agricultural education.

 Duvall, who farms in Georgia, began by highlighting that farmers are "salt of the earth people" and farmers "need to be able to continue to tell our story."

He then shifted to highlight the value of research, development and technology to farming operation going forward. Duvall noted that farmers 30 years ago would have needed 100 million more acres to meet last year's production nationally.

Talking about the changes with artificial intelligence, Duvall said he was recently visited by a company that was mapping his farm and wants to use a large drone to spray herbicide on each individual weed. Duvall added, "When a company can come in and offer those services to a small or medium-sized farmer, it's going to be amazing."

But Duvall added new technologies demand investments in research going forward.

"My concern is how do we grow that climate for tomorrow and make it inviting for young people to be able to come to it and be able to sustain their family at a level that everyone absolutely deserves," Duvall said. "We have to make sure we can afford to grow food."

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