Spring is in the air around the country. Here in Washington, D.C., the cherry blossoms are about to bloom, and the city is once again buzzing with visitors. At the American Farm Bureau, we’re grateful to be hosting guests again as Farm Bureau members from across the country return to Washington to meet with lawmakers and engage on issues impacting our farms and ranches. Next week, agriculture will take center stage here in our nation’s capital for locals and tourists alike with the first ever Ag on the Mall event in celebration of National Ag Day. Along with other organizations and companies across agriculture, Farm Bureau is excited to take part in sharing agriculture’s sustainability story on the National Mall, March 21-22.
National Ag Day is a great opportunity for farmers and ranchers to share our story and connect with consumers, and this year the latest in agricultural innovation and sustainability practices will be front and center on America’s front lawn as we celebrate how agriculture is “Growing a Climate for Tomorrow.” If you are in Washington next week, I hope you’ll put a visit to this event at the top of your list, along with a visit to your American Farm Bureau offices.
But wherever the first week of spring finds you—and I suspect that might be a tractor seat with many of you about to kick off planting season—I hope you will also take some time to share your farm story with folks off the farm, whether down the road or across the country. U.S. agriculture has a great story to share, especially when it comes to how we are growing a climate for tomorrow. We are leading the way, reducing our per unit emissions, embracing innovation and new practices and increasing our use of renewable energy.
Growing a climate for tomorrow isn’t just about environmental sustainability, however. We must ensure that agriculture remains economically sustainable as well. We need to introduce young people to the abundance of careers in agriculture—from animal care to technology to farm management. And we need investment in research to continually improve and advance farming practices. Agriculture depends on hardworking, innovative men and women to help us do better every day at growing our nation’s food, fiber and fuel.
The challenging times at home with rising supply costs and the heartbreaking events abroad are stark reminders of how important food security is. The last two years shined a spotlight on American agriculture and how it touches all our lives, on and off the farm. Consumers have grown in their trust in farmers and ranchers as they have seen how we rise to the challenge, still farming in even the hardest of times. Let’s keep building on that trust and work together to build a brighter future.
Let’s not forget that the story of American agriculture is still being written. It’s being written each day we rise to care for our land and animals. It’s being written with the policies we advocate for and against to ensure you can pass your farm on to the next generation. It’s being written as we adapt to meet today’s challenges and embrace new ideas and innovations. And it will continue to be written by the generations to come.
From all of us at American Farm Bureau, thank you for all you do, and Happy National Ag Day!
Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, cattle and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.