National Ag Week—a time to celebrate agriculture— is March 21-27 with National Ag Day March 23. Agriculture remains the number-one industry for Montana, outpacing mining, tourism and forestry products along with oil and gas.
Montana agriculture is diverse and known throughout the world for its wheat, beef, pulse crops and barley, plus the state’s farmers and ranchers produce plenty of other agricultural products including bees/honey, cherries, sugar beets, corn, canola, seed potatoes, dairy products, hogs, chickens/eggs and more.
“American agricultural ingenuity and success is, indeed, something to celebrate. Even when so many businesses were shuttered due to the pandemic, farmers and ranchers kept on producing food for the country and the world,” noted Montana Farm Bureau President Hans McPherson. “In addition, when you look at the figures, farmers and ranchers are producing more food on less acreage with less inputs. That’s impressive. Montana farmers and ranchers are proud of their stewardship of the land, their animals and feeding you.”
Ag Facts to remember:
- One U.S. farm produces food and fiber for 166 people. Of those, 106 are in the U.S., 60 are outside of the U.S.
- There are 3.4 million U.S. farmers and ranchers who work on 2 million farms/ranches.
- Today 98 percent of all U.S. farms are owned by individuals, family partnerships or family corporations. Just 2 percent of America’s farms and ranches are owned by non-family corporations or other entities.
- Eighty-seven percent of U.S. ag products sold are produced on family farms or ranches. Non-family corporations or other entities account for only 13 percent of U.S. ag product sales.
- In 2018, $139.6 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported around the globe. The top three customers, accounting for 40 percent of exports, were Canada, Mexico and the EU.
- Farmers and ranchers receive only 15 cents (on average) out of every retail dollar spent on food.
To celebrate National Ag Day, the Montana Farm Bureau will hold their Calling on the Capitol March 23, where Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras, agency directors and selected legislators will interact virtually with Montana Farm Bureau members.
For more information regarding Calling on the Capitol and other events, as well as information about farming and ranching, visit mfbf.org and fb.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @montanafarmbureau. Learn more about Ag Day at agday.org.