To the Editor:
National Agriculture Week (March 13-19) is not only important to farmers, but should be significant to all Americans. Why??Because thanks to modern farming techniques, such as biotechnology, global positioning satellites and conservation tillage, our farmers and ranchers are producing more food on fewer acres with fewer inputs than ever before. That translates to all American's reaping the benefit of enjoying the safest, most affordable food supply in the world!
Our food is also so affordable that only 10 percent of our income is devoted to dining out or purchasing groceries. In comparison to other countries such as Japan (14%), Israel (20%), China (26%) and Indonesia (55%), we enjoy the greatest economic advantage over everyone else. In essence, we have more "other" income at our disposal to purchase additional goods or services.
However, what most Americans do not realize is that for every dollar spent on food, the U.S. farmer and rancher receives only 19 cents. The remaining 81 cents goes towards wages/materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution. In comparison, the farmer received 31 cents out of every dollar in 1980.
It is my hope this bit of information will enlighten you about modern agriculture and provide a greater appreciation for the farmers and ranchers who put food on your table.