Do you enjoy a t-shirt and a good pair of blue jeans? You’re in a great place. Georgia farmers produce nearly two 480-pound bales of cotton per acre. One bale contains enough cotton to make 215 pairs of blue jeans or 1,217 men’s t-shirts. The farmers provide that soft comfort in addition to a vast array of food products. Georgia ranks first in peanut, pecan and poultry production. If you’re a consumer who enjoys any of these products, Worth County Farm Bureau invites you to join in celebrating Farm-City Week Nov. 21-27.
Farm-City Week highlights the relationship between the state’s farmers and their partners in urban areas who prepare, transport, market and retail the food and fiber farmers grow for the American consumer. Kiwanis International began Farm-City Week in 1966 to increase the understanding of the partnership between urban and rural residents. Farm days at schools, farm tours, banquets and mayoral proclamations are just a few of the activities that will be held in communities across Georgia to mark this annual event.
“Farmers take great pride in producing nutritious, delicious and safe food products, whether it’s fruits and vegetables, high-protein beef and poultry, as well as cotton and wood products from timber,” said Worth County Farm Bureau President Hank Youngblood. “Once the products leave our farms, our agribusiness partners prepare, market and transport the food and clothes to stores for consumers. Feeding and clothing America requires a massive team effort.”
According to the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED), food and fiber production and related businesses represent the largest or second largest segment of all goods and services produced in two-thirds of Georgia’s counties.
Food and fiber production and directly related processing directly and indirectly generated a total economic impact of $76.9 billion for Georgia and created more than 375,000 jobs in 2012, according to the UGA CAED. One in seven Georgians works in agriculture, forestry or an ag-related job, and almost half of the state’s manufacturing jobs are in agribusiness.
Georgia farmers lead the nation in producing broilers, peanuts and pecans, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics show. In 2012, the top ten commodities grown in Georgia were broilers, cotton, peanuts, eggs, beef, timber, corn, horses, dairy and greenhouse/nursery plants.
Georgia agriculture also helps our nation have a positive agriculture trade balance, which means we export more agricultural products than we import. In 2013, Georgia led all other states in exports of meat, poultry, and peanuts. Last year, Georgia companies exported almost $5 billion worth of meat and forestry products, part of the $144.1 billion worth of American agricultural products exported around the globe according to the USDA.
Farm-City Week is a great time to discuss how the economy impacts farmers and consumers. When you look at the price of groceries, remember that farmers receive only 16 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home, USDA statistics show. The rest of the food cost covers the expenses of wages and materials for food preparation, marketing, transportation and distribution, all of which have increased in price, too.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year and list the things for which you’re thankful, consider adding the farmers and the urban agribusiness employees who helped get the food you will eat this holiday season to your table.
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization. Its volunteer members actively participate in activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. If you would like more information about agriculture please visit www.gfb.org or like Georgia Farm Bureau on Facebook.