“I think sometimes we think of the farmer in overalls and standing out there with a pitch fork, we see those traditional pictures, but what we should be seeing is somebody that is as technologically sa-ve as anyone else, that’s making decisions to increase yields the same way that any company or corporation would do, because they’re trying to meet demands of that consumer.”
Texas Cooperative Extension Specialist Chris Boleman says U.S. consumers have had a safe and abundant food supply for so long that we take it for granted.
“If it became more expensive, I mean it’s 10% of what we spend on food in this country, which is the lowest of countries across the world. If it was 25%, 30%, 40%, people would probably have a greater appreciation for it.”
Today one farmer feeds approximately 144 people every day and U.S. agriculture generates 20% of the nation’s gross national product.
“And when we think that two of every three bushels of corn comes from this country, it just goes to show that as you look at 6.5 billion people across the world today, how many people they’re feeding, and that number’s going to continue to increase.”
So will it take empty supermarket shelves for most of us to truly appreciate production agriculture? Dr. Boleman remembered when Hurricane Rita threatened our area.
“We all went to the grocery store and bought up non-perishable items and I remember walking through the place we were at and there was no water left, there was no bread left, or anything, and I can remember how people were reacting to that.”
Texas Cooperative Extension is very involved in educating children.
“We can show young people where hamburger comes from, that the parts that make up that hamburger doesn’t come from a fast food chain, it comes from the ground, as you guys know.”
So the next time you enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or put on your favorite piece of cotton clothing remember that our nation’s farmers and ranchers made it all possible. I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From the Ground Up.