George Washington, among America’s most famous founding fathers and farmers, once said that for all of his political and military successes, he would “rather be on [his] farm than be emperor of the world.” Though farming has lost none of its importance in feeding people and keeping the economy strong, the percentage of Americans directly involved in farming has dropped from 90% in Washington’s day to just 2% today. To help keep farming at the front of Americans’ minds, the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) has celebrated its National Ag Day every spring for 44 years.
Of course, the role of agriculture ambassador isn’t limited to a day or a season. These ideas from the ACA can help you promote farming year-round:
Host school groups. The closest some kids get to agriculture is the produce department of the local supermarket. Inspire the next generation of farmers by inviting students to your farm or ranch for the day. Or pack up a load of samples and implements and bring the farm to their school. As an alternative, organize a petting zoo where kids and parents can get up close and personal with their favorite farm animals.
Throw a pizza party. Kids love pizza, but how many could guess the number of agricultural products it takes to put together their favorite pie? Here’s your chance to educate kids in a fun way they won’t even try to resist. Ask ag businesses to join you at the party and explain to grade-schoolers how that delicious pizza arrived on their plates.
Partner with retailers. The stores that sell your produce have as much incentive to promote agriculture as you do. You might work with a local market to create and display educational and promotional materials about farming. (Visit agday.org to download buttons, banners and logos).
“Adopt” a legislator. Schoolkids and their parents aren’t the only ones who can use a refresher on the importance of farms and farming. Hosting a visit by city, state and other local politicians to your farm or ranch can help keep ag issues on the front burner.
For more ideas, visit agday.org.
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