March 22 2024 10:25 AM

This week we recognize all the individuals who work together to make our farms and agriculture industry succeed.

This week America had the opportunity to celebrate National Agriculture Day. Initially started in 1973, the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) has made it their mission to increase public awareness of the role agriculture plays in our day to day lives. This is the 51st year that a day has been set aside to acknowledge all the great people who work hard to make the agriculture industry tick.

While the average age of an American farmer is nearing 60 years old, the number of generations removed from the farm is also rising. Days like National Agriculture Day have become increasingly important as an opportunity to educate the public about where their food comes from. Many young people have a hard time understanding the significance that agriculture has in their lives, whether it be from the shirt on their backs, food they are eating, or hygiene products they utilize daily — each one is derived from agriculture.

Sustainable agriculture is defined as the dynamic practice that encompasses technology and farming practices to preserve natural resources and their viability for years to come. Fittingly enough, the theme for this year’s National Agriculture Day is “Growing a climate for tomorrow.” Sustainability is a common word you hear these days when talking about agriculture, and for a good reason.

By 2050, the world population is expected to reach nearly 10 million people. Farmers will have to find a way to produce enough to feed and clothe a much more significant population. Since land mass isn’t increasing, farmers will have to implement ways to accomplish this on the same or a smaller number of acres than what is already available. Accepting this challenge will be no easy task, but I am certain that we are equipped with the right people in this industry to make it happen.

As National Agriculture Day comes to a close, I am reminded of the many people that make it possible for our own dairy farm to run smoothly. People like our nutritionist, banker, veterinarian, and agronomist come to mind. Hired help, truck drivers, breeders, and many others are nothing short of important. The list of people who make it happen behind the scenes could go on and on, so let’s be sure they get the recognition they deserve on not only this day, but every day.

I am honored to have the privilege to represent an industry that has immense opportunity for growth and success, while doing more with less. The people I have met within the agriculture industry are some of the most intelligent, hardworking, and reliable people I know, and I am proud that I get to work alongside some of the industry’s best. Setting aside one day to recognize agriculture is the least we can do. To me, every day is agriculture day.

Jenna Byrne

Jenna Byrne is an associate editor for Hoard’s Dairyman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2022, majoring in agricultural business with an emphasis in communications and marketing. She grew up on her family’s dairy farm near Neillsville, Wis.