2010-10-07 / General Stories

America’s Bounty

By John Schoenemann
County Executive Director

Lee County Farm Service Agency

It’s officially fall – the time of year when the weather starts to cool, leaves begin to change and, for America’s farmers, harvest is in full swing.

For the 98 percent of American’s who are not directly involved in the agriculture industry, the 24/7 life of a farmer or rancher may go unnoticed. But if you are reading this article, thank a tree producer for the paper and soybean producer for the ink. If you are enjoying a cup of coffee, glass of milk, a bite to eat while you read, thank a farmer or rancher. When you dress for work or play – you guessed it – thank the 2.2 million Americans involved in production agriculture.

It’s because of these individuals that we enjoy the basic necessities of life: food, clothing and shelter – in abundance and at a lower percentage of our expendable income than anywhere else in the world.

Nowhere, but in the United States, is such a wide variety of food available to everyday consumers. It’s important to consider the farmers, ranchers and growers who work day in and day out to produce a plentiful, safe, affordable supply of food, fiber and fuel.

To bring the perspective closer to home, Lee County’s 1,844 farms comprised of 325,643 acres of land produce agriculture products with a market value of more than $40 million dollars, contributing significantly to the county’s economic infrastructure. Farms and ranches in Lee County produce corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, wheat, oats, annual ryegrass, cattle hogs, sheep, goats, eggs, honey, fish, forage crops, pecans, Christmas trees and timber commodities.

So this week, as you visit the grocery store, a restaurant, farmer’s market or sit down to a meal with family and friends, I ask that you join my colleagues and me at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in thanking America’s farmers and ranchers. I’m certain they will be grateful to know that their fellow citizens appreciate their role in making America a truly great nation.

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