This week is National Ag Week and Tuesday is National Ag Day. With so much that Indiana agriculture has to offer, and Hoosiers impacted from the food they eat to the wooden office desk they use to the spearmint gum they chew, it’s a week to celebrate.
“And I think it does give us an opportunity in the agriculture community to connect to consumers,” says Indiana State Department of Agriculture director Bruce Kettler. “We just need to remember that there are so many more people that are generations removed from the farm, and you know we all want to eat. We all like to eat, and that’s why I think there’s a good reason to celebrate National Ag Day, but it is an opportunity hopefully to keep people educated about our great industry and maybe find an opportunity to inform them a little bit more about their food, their fiber, even their fuel. Obviously, gasoline has gotten a lot of attention in the last few weeks and you know helping people understand the benefits of ethanol for the climate and also for their pocketbooks as well.”
Kettler hopes Indiana farmers and those in related industries take a moment to recognize their vital impact on everyday life.
“Whether it’s with their family, in their community maybe among their friends, people in their church community, wherever it might be, I hope they do,” he told HAT. “In Indiana we’re really fortunate. There are so many things that we touch and impact from obviously our crops, even specialty crops, hardwoods, our livestock is really, really strong, and I think that affords all of us, all of the 94,000 farmers in the state of Indiana an opportunity to educate, inform, and bring them back to the farm and help them understand why we do what we do.”
Kettler also says keep thinking about farmers now that spring is here and their activity on rural roads as planting season gets closer will be on the increase.
“In fact, I’ve even seen some equipment as I was going to Elkhart County the other day, past a number of floaters with dry fertilizer boxes on them on the road and people spreading manure, so there’s going to be a lot more activity on the roads. I think we need to be sure we watch for that as well.”
Indiana’s Family of Farmers Celebrates National Agriculture Day
INDIANAPOLIS (March 15, 2022) – National Ag Day is March 22, 2022, and the organizations of Indiana’s Family of Farmers invite you to celebrate! National Ag Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA). ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public’s awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society.
Agriculture is a huge business in Indiana. Indiana is the eighth largest agricultural exporter in the nation, the tenth largest farming state, and it contributes an estimated $31.2 billion to Indiana’s economy. We have over 94,000 farmers in Indiana, with just over 54,000 farming operations. In 2017, Indiana farmers cultivated just under 15 million acres of farmland.
Indiana agriculture is more than just rows of corn and soybeans. We have more than 4.2 million hogs and nearly 200,000 dairy cows. We also have thousands of specialty crop farms and agribusinesses.
Hoosier farming is done on the local level; 96% of Indiana farms are family owned or operated. Our farmers care deeply about the environment to support their passion and livelihood. In 2020 landowners installed more than 32,000 new soil conservation practices and farmers planted a new state record of 1.5 million living covers on their soil in 2020.
Indiana is home to many agricultural businesses of all kinds, whether that is food processing, seed research and development, meat processing and packaging, egg or dairy processing and so much more. We have a variety of agriculture technological advancements, like aquaculture and fresh vegetable processing facilities.
Indiana is home to many of the largest world renowned agriculture companies, like Elanco Animal Health, Corteva Agriscience and many other companies who keep farmers and their businesses top of mind.
Agriculture contributes so much to our local and statewide economy, and we encourage everyone to support Indiana agriculture, not just on March 22, but year-round.
There are many ways to support agriculture. People can shop local, attend a farmers market, grow a backyard garden, buy from an Indiana meat processor or just explore how your food goes from field to grocery store.
Indiana’s Family of Farmers is comprised of Indiana agricultural organizations and commodity groups, such as, Indiana’s Board of Animal Health, Indiana Beef Producers, Indiana Pork Association, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Farm Bureau, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indiana Poultry Association, Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center, American Dairy Association of Indiana, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and many others, for a full list visit indianafamilyoffarmers.com.