NORWICH — Many farmers celebrate Agriculture Day in New York State and it has special importance in Chenango County.
The Chenango County Farm Bureau recently received recognition from the the state senate, assembly, the Chenango County Board of Supervisors, and the City of Norwich.
Each passed proclamations thanking farmers and recognizing March 21 as Ag Day and March 2023 as the official Chenango County Agriculture month.
At a county board meeting Chenango County Farm Bureau President Bradd Vickers was presented with the proclamation.
He said, “It is an honor to accept this proclamation on behalf of the Agricultural Industry. Especially considering that in the year 1790, 90 percent of the American population were farmers. By 1850, this percentage had dropped to 64 percent, and then down to only 21 percent by the year 1930. Today, less than two percent of the American population serve as farmers and are expected to feed the world,” Vickers said.
”Each American farmer feeds approximately 166 people in the United States and abroad. In 1960, that number was 25.8.
“To feed the world in the next 50 years, farmers will need to produce more food than was produced in the last 10,000 years combined. According to the latest statistics, by 2050, it is projected that there will be 9.2 billion people on the planet, and recent estimates suggest that food production will have to increase by 70 percent if we are to feed everyone,” he added.
Farmers are dedicated to feeding the world's population. They are the stewards of our country, continually caring for the soil and animals, all the while tending crops that bring food, fuel and our clothing.
Vickers said, “33,400 farms and over 6,900,000 acres of operational farmland contributes to more than 5.4 billion dollars in agricultural sales to the New York State economy each year.”
“In the U.S. there are 39,000 dairy farms milking just over nine million cows, and fully 95 percent of those farms are family owned and operated. And in New York State, 99 percent of farms are family owned and operated, many having been passed down from generation to generation,” He said.
According to Vickers, less than two percent of the U.S. population are farmers, working hard each day to produce the food that nourishes all of us. It is a 365-day-a-year job.
“Agriculture is the number one industry in Chenango County and New York State. American agriculture is an industry that contributes $200 billion per quarter on average to the U.S. GDP,” Vickers said.
Agriculture Day continues to serve as a way for Americans to recognize the hard work of U.S. farmers, and honor and rejoice in the abundance of products provided by American agriculture every year.