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View from the Cab: Celebrating Ag

By: Kent Casson

If you checked your mailbox last week, you likely noticed a postcard thanking farmers.

During National Agriculture Week, the first place entry of a postcard coloring contest for kindergarten students was featured. The designer was Holland Tissiere, a student of St. Mary’s School in Pontiac. This was the first place entry in the Livingston County Ag Literacy Partnership “Thank You Farmers” contest.

The informational postcard thanked farmers for their hard work to raise animals and crops which provide food, clothing and renewable fuels for others.

I had the honor of sharing some informational Ag Week trivia facts with listeners on my radio program courtesy of the Livingston County Farm Bureau and Ag Literacy Partnership. Here are some interesting facts you can impress others with when it comes to agriculture.

-In the United States, there are 11 commercially available genetically modified crops which include: soybeans, corn (field and sweet), canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, summer squash, papaya, apples and potatoes.

-About 15 people out of every 100 in the U.S. work in some phase of agriculture. Ag, of course, includes food and fiber production, processing, sales, farm equipment sales and other areas close to farming.

-USDA reports that raw food inputs make up only 19 percent of each food dollar.

-There are 75,900 farms in Illinois. Total farmland in the state is approximately 27 million acres with the average farm size at 375 acres.

-It takes nature about 500 years to make one inch of topsoil. Meanwhile, our state soil is Drummer Silty Clay Loam.

-Back in 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed four key congressional acts which greatly impacted American agriculture, including the establishment of the United States Department of Agriculture along with the signings of the Homestead, Pacific Railway and Morrill acts.

Now you are a little smaller when it comes to agriculture. With National Ag Day and National Ag Week behind us, it is time to look ahead to spring planting season which could be a bit delayed because of wet weather.


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