This week is Food Check Out Week. This is the week that we celebrate the safe, abundant food supply that we are blessed with. Often we take the food we eat for granted. When was the last time you went to a grocery store and couldn't find food? Why is this? It is because of the incredible efforts of our farmers and ranchers in this great nation.
Did you know that each farmer feeds 155 people? Did you also know that number will need to increase drastically in the next 25 to 50 years? All-the-while the numbers of farmers and ranchers and the numbers of farms and ranches are steadily declining. So why is it that agriculture is continuing to answer the bell and produce enough food?
Farmers and ranchers have drastically increased their use of technology. Dramatic breakthroughs have allowed us to be far more productive than we were just 20 years ago. We can now produce far more food and fiber on fewer acres using less fuel, fertilizer and chemicals. Best of all, we are doing it in a way that is good for the soil, water and air we all use. Our livestock are grown in more environmentally safe systems, using less anti-biotics and feed. In short, American farms and ranches are technological marvels.
The best part is even during this incredible development the men and women who live on these farms and ranches have not changed. The greatest majority of our farms and ranches are family operations operated by the same family that has worked the land for many, many generations. They are the corner-stones of their communities, caring about the land, the community and the people around them.
So as you go about your business this week and especially as you shop at one of our incredibly well-stocked grocery stores. Pause, and think about the men and women who through their hard work and dedication filled the store shelves with abundance. Remember just how lucky we are to live in the country with the safest most abundant food supply in the world. Then thank a farmer.