National Agriculture Day takes place on the first day of spring as a way to celebrate American agriculture and the farmers who help provide the food, fiber, shelter, energy and other materials we use on a daily basis. In honor of this special time of the year, the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) hosted events in Washington, D.C. on March 11, 2008, to celebrate the importance of agriculture to America’s economy and society.
Several events kicked off National Agriculture Week on March 11, 2008, in Washington D.C. At this year’s events various associations, corporations, universities and government agencies gathered together in our nation’s capital for a variety of activities that included a Meet-and-Mingle celebration luncheon at the Hart Senate office building. The luncheon was emceed by Orion Samuelson, WGN Radio, followed by Becky Sullivan, National FFA Secretary from Paola, Kansas. Guest speaker at the luncheon was Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss, who addressed several FFA Students including honored luncheon guests, the FFA Star Award Finalists, in addition to other luncheon attendees, including Senate staff members, and corporation and association employees. An FFA Rally was held after the luncheon.
The National Celebration of Agriculture dinner took place at the USDA’s Whitten building patio where Orion Samuelson, WGN Radio, served as host once again. Special guests for the dinner included Dr. Pedro Sanchez, The Earth Institute at Columbia University and the CAST Charles A. Black award winner and Secretary of Agriculture, Ed Schafer. Other guest speakers included: Greg Webb, ADM; Doug Loudenslager, National FFA; Linda Sorkin; and Roger Olsen, 4-H. In addition, the Ag Day Essay contest national winner, Katlin Wiest, of Lykens, Pennsylvania read her winning essay on “Agriculture – Bigger than You Think.” Linda Tank, CHS, Inc., presented Katlin with her $1,000 prize for being the national essay contest winner. Also at the dinner, the ACA unveiled the new “Food/Fiber/Biofuel Chain” poster. The poster shows all of the industries involved in the production, processing, and distribution of feeding, clothing and fueling the American consumer. In total, 21 million people in the U.S. are now employed to support the 301 million consumers in the country. The poster can be found on the Ag Day web site at www.agday.org.
The events in Washington, D.C. are organized by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA), which is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public’s awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society.
Each year, the National Ag Day program gathers members of the agricultural industry in an effort to promote American agriculture. Focused on sharing how agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis, the National Ag Day program helps educate millions of consumers each year. Join this effort to promote American agriculture to everyone during National Ag Week, March 16-22, 2008. For more information contact the Agriculture Council of America at (913) 491-1895.