In case you hadnít noticed, agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear daily. This industry is increasingly contributing to fuel and other bioproducts.

Still, too few people understand and appreciate this contribution. This is particularly true in our schools today where students may be exposed to agriculture only if they enroll in related vocational training ó if it even exists.

Monday marked the first day of spring. It falls during National Ag Week, March 19 to 25. This is a time to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by this nationís farmers and ranchers.

National Ag Week encourages each American to understand how food and fiber products are produced; value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy and appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.

During this period we as agricultural associations help those in our communities understand how food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced. We must highlight the essential role agriculture plays in maintaining a strong Kansas economy as well as our U.S. economy.

Itís up to us to foster an appreciation of the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable food, fuel and fiber among todayís citizenry. Also, we must inform this same population about the career opportunities in the agricultural industry.

Agriculture is too important a topic to be taught only to a small percentage of students considering careers in agriculture and pursuing vocational agricultural studies.

County Farm Bureaus across the state will be celebrating National Ag Week. Activities include radio programs on farming and ranching, breakfasts, ag book distributions, library displays about agriculture, newspaper ads, farm tours, ag implement dealer tours and farm and ranch safety programs.

These activities are intended to increase the knowledge of agriculture and nutrition among todayís consumers to help them make informed personal choices about diet and health. Informed citizens also will be better able to participate in establishing the policies that will support a competitive agricultural industry in the country and around the world.

A few generations ago, most Americans were directly involved in ó or had relatives or friends involved in agricultural-related endeavors. Today, thatís no longer the case.

Thatís why it is so important we join together on this special week devoted to telling the story of this unparalleled success story. Remember, celebrate agriculture this March 19 to 25.

Agriculture is truly amazing.

John Schlageck is a leading commentator on agriculture and rural Kansas.