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"Agriculture is ourwisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, goodmorals, and happiness." - Letterfrom Thomas Jefferson to George Washington (1787)

Dear Fellow Kansan,

Where does your food comefrom?  If you're like many Americans,your answer may be the grocery store. You, I and 155 other people ate today because of one American farmer. Anincrease of 800 percent over the past 73 years! Where in 1940, each farmerproduced enough food to feed 19 people.

We officially recognize ourfarmers, ranchers and all they do to make our lives better during Agriculture Week, March 23-29, 2014.This year's theme is "Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths toFeed." Farmers not only produce food, fiber and fuel, they contribute to astrong economy. In fact, the total impact of agriculture and agribusinessesaccount for 20 percent of the state's economy, according to Kansas Inc.

We am fortunate enough to bea part of the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program. As participants, our eyes are being further opened to the many different aspects ofagricultural business and its impacts on our lives. If you're like us, youdon't have to think very long to think of a hard-working ag producer whocontributes to our way of life. Perhaps for you it's your grandparent, anuncle, or maybe an old friend.

The role of farmers willbecome even more critical with the exploding world population. We reached 7billion people in 2011. The United Nations forecasts that world population willreach 9 billion by 2050 - and that farmers will have to produce 70 percent morefood than they do today.

Agriculture is this nation's No. 1 export and vitally important in sustaining a healthy economy.

And it's not just the farmerwho makes our food possible. The entire agriculture industries, all the way tothe grocery store, are vital links in a chain that brings food to every citizen- and millions of people abroad.

Farms of every size areimportant today, regardless of whether they are feeding just their families orthe world. Here's an interesting fact from USDA numbers released on February19, 2013: 25 percent of farms have an average of 55 acres and sales of lessthan $2,500.

Agriculture Week is a good time to reflect - and be grateful for -American Agriculture! This marks a nationwide effort to tell the true story ofAmerican Agriculture and remind citizens that agriculture is a part of all ofus.

Be part of America's Agriculture, if even just for one day. Take a drivein the country with your family. There's no prettier green than winter wheatfields waking from winter dormancy. And wave if you see a farmer. I guaranteethey'll wave back.

For more information please visit: www.agday.org. Happy Agriculture Week!

From KARL Class XII Members: Lesley Schmidt, Joseph Thomas, Matt Symns &Travis Mason

 

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