Take a moment to appreciate farmers

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USDA Tennessee Farm Service Agency encourages the public to take time to appreciate the state’s farmers and ranchers on National Ag Day, March 25.

This year’s theme is “Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed.”

“USDA is proud to stand behind the producers who rise before dawn 365 days a year in order to put food on the table for 7 billion people,” said Tennessee FSA Director Gene Davidson.

“We recognize the importance of agriculture and hope that the recent passage of a new Farm Bill is a sign that 2014 will be a banner year for the industry,” he added.

While the American economy is rebounding and gaining strength, the agricultural economy has remained strong and at its best.

Looking ahead, the U.S. has seen a trend towards aging farmers; however, according to the recent Census of Agriculture, the nation is beginning to reverse that trend. There is an increase in the number of farmers younger than 35.

Although the agriculture industry promises a bright future, many farmers and ranchers are still recovering from natural disasters, including drought.

Those producers were still able to grow the commodities that Americans rely on in order to remain a food-secure nation.

“Our farmers and ranchers have also continued their legacy of protecting natural resources and environmentally sensitive land through the use of conservation programs,” Davidson said.

Ag Day is a project of the Agriculture Council of America. Details and events are at www.agday.org.

More on programs administered by FSA at 376-2392, Ext. 2, and www.fsa.usda.gov.