State creates Thank a Farmer Day

Published 7:35 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2009

As North Carolina families plan their upcoming Thanksgiving dinner, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler would like them to remember the people who help make it possible: farmers.

Chances are pretty good that when you sit down for your Thanksgiving meal, youll be enjoying some food produced right here in North Carolina, Troxler said. One out of every seven turkeys cooked at Thanksgiving will come from North Carolina. We also supply enough pork products for one out of every four families in America, and one out of every 13 eggs comes from North Carolina.

In recognition of the 22 million Americans who work on farms or in agriculture-related jobs, including 700,000 here in North Carolina, Governor Beverly E. Perdue has issued a proclamation declaring November 20 Thank your Farmers and Ranchers Day in North Carolina.

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Bryan Blinson, Executive Director of the North Carolina Cattlemens Association and Beef Council, representing over 19,000 North Carolina beef and dairy producers, added that many consumers arent aware of where their food comes from, since the average American is now three generations removed from farming as a livelihood.

Here are a few more Farm Facts from the North Carolina Cattlemens Beef Council:

U.S. consumers spend about 10 percent of their disposable income on food, compared to 22 percent in the United Kingdom, 26 percent in Japan and 28 percent in South Africa.

Farmers and ranchers provide food and habitat for 75 percent of the nations wildlife.

The U.S beef industry is comprised of 1 million beef and dairy producers, 75 percent of whom work on operations that have been in the family for at least two generations.

The average U.S. farm is 441 acres; 99 percent are classified as family operations. About 41 percent of total U.S. land area is farm land.

85 percent of U.S. grazing lands are unsuitable for crops; grazing animals on this land more than doubles the land that can be used to raise other foods.

As consumers, we all have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to our agricultural community, Troxler said. We are fortunate to live in an agriculture-rich state that produces so many different commodities. Our farmers also contribute mightily to our states $70 billion agribusiness industry, which plays a critical role in our states economy.

The holiday season is the perfect time to support our farmers by visiting farmers markets or looking for N.C. foods at the grocery store.