Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Where Would We be Without Agriculture?

Viewpoints / Focus on Agriculture March 17, 2021

Credit: iStockPhoto 

By Isabella Chism @agrimom

Where would we be without agriculture? Some would say naked and hungry. While that may be true for a time, I say eventually we as a society would be no more. Think about it. You can only be hungry for so long and then with no food being grown, what happens?

Switching topics for a minute…let’s say it’s your birthday. Why is this day any more important than the other 364 days? It’s not, but it is a day set apart to remember the value of you. We take this opportunity to celebrate you, how you have impacted our lives and what you have gone through the past 364 days. It also gives you that same opportunity and provides you with the chance to see your impact through others’ eyes. That is the precise reason we celebrate National Ag Day every year in March.

The role of National Ag Day is to increase public awareness of agriculture’s vital role in our society.

The role of National Ag Day is to increase public awareness of agriculture’s vital role in our society. One day, March 23, 2021, has been set aside to celebrate agriculture in our nation’s capital. This celebration is possible only because we have thousands of farm families across the nation working every day to put food on our tables, clothes on our backs and fuel in our vehicles, in addition to helping supply lifesaving medications including insulin.

Your family invites friends to your birthday party, but how do we engage an entire country in our party (National Ag day)? To start, our grassroots farmer and rancher members throughout the country have been inviting everyone from the mom at the local grocery store to the elected representative at the statehouse to events on and off their farms. There are so many ways and reasons our members do this.

Keerthi Nalabotu of Pleasanton, California, is the 2021 National Ag Day Video Essay winner.  

When they go to schools it may be to let students know that more than 22 million people are employed in agriculture-related fields, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. That’s one in 12 American jobs (including careers in fields such as food science and food inspection, packaging, conservation and agricultural engineering). Farmers also strive to help students understand the journey their food and clothing takes from a farm family to their family.

When the grassroots members go to their courthouse or statehouse the objective may be to strengthen legislators’ appreciation of the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products. Highlighting agriculture’s essential role in maintaining a strong economy and a healthy future for our country is also important.

Now that you know more about it, you may be wondering how to join this year’s Ag Day celebration. It’s easy! Talk to your friends, check with your county or state Farm Bureau and go to www.agday.org to get ideas that fit your passion. It’s not too late. The toolkits on the website will take you from idea to event.

See you at the party! And be sure to follow #AgDay21 on social media for additional ideas and inspiration.

Isabella Chism is immediate past chair and serves on the board of the Agriculture Council of America, which organizes National Ag Day and is dedicated to increasing public awareness of agriculture’s vital role in our society. She was recently elected chair of the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee.

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