National Ag Day was Tuesday, March 15 this year (2016). For those of you unfamiliar with National Ag Day, it is a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture. It started in 1973.
Agriculture’s contribution to Oregon’s economy, environment, and social well-being is worth celebrating. In observing National Agriculture Week March 13-19, Americans are encouraged to say thank you to the more than 2 million farmers and ranchers who produce food and fiber for a living. Statewide, there are more than 35,000 agricultural operators for Oregonians to salute.
Here is a numerical snapshot of agriculture’s importance to the state’s economy:
- Oregon agriculture supports more than 326,000 full or part-time jobs, making up almost 14% of total jobs in the state.
- Oregon agriculture is responsible for $22.9 billion or 10.6% of the net state product.
- More than 98% of Oregon’s farms are family operations – dispelling the notion that agriculture in the state is made up of big corporate farm factories.
Go out and enjoy Oregon agricultural products! Whether it’s food, nursery items, grass seed or a farmer’s market; whether it’s slowing down behind a tractor or combine on the roads; or whether it’s thanking a farmer for working to provide food and fiber for us all… As we look for ways to continue to improve the economic, environmental, and social contributions that agriculture makes to Oregon, your support of Oregon agriculture is critical to achievement.
And just for fun – here are some fun facts and great pictures. Enjoy!
(Thank you to Oregon Department of Agriculture and American Agri-Women for the great ag facts and information in this post.)