I guess life’s not all bad. I’m stuck in the office most of the time. I don’t mind getting there so early that it’s dark outside, but I do miss the sunrises every day. It does stink to leave the office when it’s dark too. So I am thankful daylight hours are getting longer.
Apparently the Smoky Mountains don’t hold snow quite like the Rockies do. I came home today and say a fresh coat of snow on the peaks! It’s something to get excited about. I miss seeing views like the mountain peaks in Colorado. Unfortunately, I live too close to the Smokies to see the peaks from the house. But this view isn’t too bad…
Then I got another surprise. I love snail mail. I’ve received some interesting gifts that only an agnerd would appreciate, and I’ve also received a lot of postcards. My postcard project from a few years back is still going strong. I don’t have all 50 states yet, but I haven’t updated my list of state agfacts in a while either. One of these days… Any way, I was excited to receive a postcard this week from Louisiana along with some great agfacts!
“Louisiana is the No.1 state in the nation for production of crawfish, shrimp, alligator, and oysters. They produce 25% of all seafood in the U.S.” Thanks Caroline Roper!
I also received another great gift in the mail from Hays, Kansas! The Fort Hays State University Agronomy Club used my quote on their t-shirts and sent me one as a gift. Thanks for the work ya’ll and keep up the great work!
By the way, the quote on the shirt is from my blog and pages:
Agriculture, It’s more than part of life. It’s a passion, a lifestyle, a resilient community that works hard to feed the world!–Ryan Goodman
I don’t care what anyone says, I think snail mail ROCKS! Who knows what will end up in my mail box next…
This week has been an exciting one for those discussing food and farming. Sunday’s airing of RAM Truck’s Super Bowl ad featuring the American Farmer has had online communities buzzing about the images and characteristics that defined our farmers in 1978.
Those characteristics and values still hold true today, despite what we commonly hear in mainstream media and reports from those who have a ‘beef’ with modern farming.
Paul Harvey first recited “So God Made a Farmer” at the 1978 Future Farmers of America annual convention. A few things have changed in the three and a half decades since. My dad was in Junior High (and still had a full head of hair). Since then, he has raised a few thousand cattle, has broken in a few new pickups, and harvested several crops of hay.
So how do things compare between 1978 and today?
Using the numbers from our most recent U.S. Agriculture Survey (2007, a new one is being conducted for 2012), here are some interesting comparisons:
In 1978, there were 2,257,775 farms, averaging 449 acres each. In 2007, those numbers reduced to 2,204,792 farms averaging 418 acres each. Farmers today are actually smaller by 31 acres.
Today the market value of farmland and buildings is $1,892 per acre. That is up from $619 per acre in 1978 - an increase of $1,273 per acre.
Posted in AgFact, Agriculture, Agriculture Proud, Farm, Food
Tagged AgFacts, Agriculture, Agriculture Proud, CNN, eatocracy, Farmer, God, National FFA Organization, Paul Harvey, Super Bowl
Have you seen the latest Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats commercial? It brought a grin the first time I saw it. I wonder if wheat farmers really drive through the golden fields singing “99 bushels of wheat on the farm, 99 bushels of wheat!” (especially with dancing cereal biscuits?). Here’s the video in case you haven’t seen it.
I’m pretty sure wheat harvest is long over by now. Actually, I shared a few facts about wheat harvest as it was occurring back in July and highlighted the Zeorian family who works as a custom harvesting crew based in Nebraska. Now that we’ve hit October, the Griggs family of the Dakotas shows that next year’s wheat crop is already emerging. It’s amazing how quickly the crop rotation turns around.
The United States is a major grower of wheat in the world, following only the European Union, China, and India. The USDA ERS has many great facts about global and local wheat production.
- Wheat ranks third among U.S. field crops in both planted acreage and gross farm receipts, behind corn and soybeans.
- U.S. wheat harvested area has dropped off nearly 30 million acres, or nearly one-third, from its peak in 1981 because of declining returns compared with other crops and changes in government programs that allow farmers more planting flexibility.
- About half of the U.S. wheat crop is exported.
- Despite rising global wheat trade, the U.S. share of the world wheat market has eroded in the past two decades.
Farming crops like wheat is a great tradition for many U.S. farming families like Daren Williams showed in a previous post. A quick search shows that many wheat farmers are sharing their stories online. Farmers like Brian Scott of Indiana are taking us inside the combine during harvest and capturing video of the process. We can’t forget the Peterson Farm Brothers with their viral video, I’m farming and I grow it (yes, the song is still stuck in my head), which was filmed during wheat harvest. Janice Person has a great post sharing more about these Kansas farm boys and their family farm.
In my part of the world, I’m used to wheat being grown as a dual purpose crop. Many farmers will grow the crop for cattle to graze during the cool season, then pull them off the fields in time for the crop to start maturing to produce grain. Farmers from Texas and Oklahoma, like David Cleavinger (@TXWheatFarmer) will likely be sharing their stories online during the wheat-growing process.
I can’t wait to follow these great farmers as the next wheat crops gets started and this Kellogg’s commercial sparked a few thoughts I had rolling. All of the wheat farmers linked in this post also share their stories on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check the links on their blogs.
Do any other fun wheat farming commercials come to mind?
Posted in AgFact, Farm, Food, Video
Tagged Agriculture, Cereal, Frosted Mini-Wheats, harvest, Kellogg, Kellogg Company, Video, wheat
Road Trip! Things turned chilly in East Tennessee this week, so I decided to make an impromptu trip to Central Florida, Lake Buena Vista, Disney World Resort to be exact…
No, really I’m down here to speak at the Farm Roads to Urban Intersections workshop with the Agriculture Institute of Florida. This is a great workshop series focusing on social media use in Agriculture. I will be giving tools and tips for blogging to a diverse group of farmers and agriculture professionals in attendance. It should be a great trip!
As I do every time I travel to a different state, I look ahead to the diversity in Agriculture for the region. Here’s some great Agriculture facts for Florida!
- If all the boxes of Florida tomatoes shipped in a crop year were laid end to end, they would stretch from Pensacola round-trip to Beijing, China – over 58 million boxes!
- All the potatoes produced in Florida in a crop year could sink a battleship – 9,112,000 cwt
- Florida farmers grow enough sweet corn for all 18,000,000 people in Florida to have an ear weekly – 1 billion ears of sweet corn
- Horticulture products are the highest agricultural cash crop in Florida
- Florida leads the nation in production of oranges
- Pierson, FL is known as the Fern Capitol of the World
2011 Florida Agriculture Statistics
- Number of farms – 47,500
- Acres of farm land – 9,250,000
- Average farm size in acres – 195
- Number of cattle and calves – 1,710,000
- Number of hogs and pigs – 16,000
- Number of milk cows – 119,000
- Pounds of milk produced – 2,269,000,000
- Pounds of peanuts harvested - 549,500,000
- Bales of cotton – 183,000
- Tons of sugarcane grown - 14,865,000
Click here for more statistics on Florida agriculture from the USDA.