In our economy today, it is very difficult for people to stay on the farm, to start a farm or to even be a farmer period. Many individuals from our generation are leaving the farm in order to provide for their families. This is leaving the older generation on the farm and no one to teach the future generations how to feed our world.
The USDA is becoming more and more aware of the issues that the failing economy has brought upon our industry. They have started up many beginning farmer and rancher programs that provide grants, loans and other initiatives for our generation to stay on the farm and to start their own farms.
Ohio State has also recently received more than $700,000 from the USDA to help with training initiatives. OSU started as a Land Grant University and OSU is still helping teach how to stay in the agriculture industry.
We need more people to stay in the industry or our world will not survive. Today, since farmers only account for two percent of the American population, they have to work a lot harder to feed everyone – and they’re still doing a great job. The average American farmer grows enough food to feed 150 other people.
Because of efficient agriculture management and production practices, American consumers are able to spend less of their disposable income on food. We spend only 10 percent of our income on food, whereas the French spend 18 percent, the British spend 22 percent, the Italians spend 23 percent, the Japanese spend 26 percent, and consumers in India spend up to 51 percent of their income on food.
Just in Ohio alone, agriculture is our largest industry. Ohio’s agricultural industry contributes $93 billion to the state’s economic growth and employs one-in-seven Ohioans in areas such as wholesaling and retailing, farm production, marketing and processing, and agribusiness.
Without our farmers, we wouldn’t have food, animals or jobs. So next time you see a tractor or a farmer in worn out blue jeans, stop him and THANK A FARMER!