It is evident from the sweeping acres of sorghum, wheat and pastures of cattle, the irrigated circles that can be seen from the sky, and from the scenic overlook at Dodge City where thousands of cattle are fattening: Kansas’ backbone is agriculture.

Roughly 88 percent of Kansas’ land – more than 46.1 million acres – is devoted to farming and ranching, with more than 61,000 Kansans making a living from the land. And, as the world’s population nears 9 billion people, it’s states like Kansas that play a vital role in feeding the globe.

Kansas’ strong ag backbone predates statehood. It has continued through the perils of drought, insects, prices and more.

Farm City Week, Nov. 18 to 24, is a celebration of the partnership between farm and urban residents in providing the nation with a bounty of food, fiber, fuel and a growing list of products.

Each year, the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce honors three families during this week for their hard work and successes on the farm.

This year’s families are Chuck and Kiley Buggeln; Geoff and Jenny Burgess; and Jane and Randy Harder.

These couples are family farmers, representing the majority of the farms and ranches scattered across the nation. There are 2.2 million farms across the U.S. and about 1,600 farms in Reno County.

About 96 percent of the nation’s farms are family-operated, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.