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National Ag Day and Whitley County Agriculture

Ag Day 50 yearsThe Agriculture Council of America (ACA) will host National Agriculture Day on March 21, 2023. This will mark the 50th anniversary of National Ag Day which is celebrated in classrooms and communities across the country. The theme for National Ag Day 2023 is “Growing a Climate for Tomorrow.”

Some communities expand this celebration to a week-long event and call it “Ag Week.”

On March 21, 2023, the ACA will host a virtual Ag Day event and events in Washington, DC. Additionally, the ACA will bring college students to Washington “virtually” to deliver the message of Ag Day to the Hill. A core leadership team of college students will attend events in DC.

These events honor National Agriculture Day and mark a nationwide effort to tell the true story of American agriculture and remind citizens that agriculture is a part of all of us. Many agricultural associations, corporations, students, and government organizations involved in agriculture are expected to participate.

The National Ag Day program encourages every American to:

  • Understand how food and fiber products are produced
  • Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products
  • Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy
  • Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry

That’s the national focus, but what about agriculture in Whitley County?

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture (2022 data is not yet available), the top agricultural products produced in Whitley County were soybeans, corn, wheat, forages (hay and haylage), and corn for silage or greenchop. Farmers used some type of soil conservation practice on over 50% of crops (25% used no-till, 29% used reduced till, and 8% used cover crops). The top categories of livestock and poultry produced included hogs and pigs, cattle and calves (including beef and dairy cows), chickens (egg layers), and chickens (broilers and other types of meat-type chickens) yielding pork, beef, milk, eggs, and chicken, respectively. Other livestock of note included horses and ponies, sheep and lambs, and goats.

The census also indicated that there were 747 male and 418 female producers. 127 producers were less than 35 years old, 676 were 35-64, and 362 were 65 and older.

10% of farms were 1-9 acres, 38% were 10-49 acres, 26% were 50-179 acres, 14% were 180-499 acres, 4% were 500-999 acres, and 8% were 1000 or more acres. 97% of farms were family farms, and 22% hired farm labor.

National Ag Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America. The 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.

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