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Celebrate National Agriculture Day: Talk to a farmer

Do consumers really want to see where their food comes from?

Ryan Goodman has been involved in agriculture all of his life, working on ranches across the country, as well as studying cattle nutrition and reproduction at the college levels. He works daily with farmers and ranchers, helping their voices become part of the national dialogues on food and agriculture topics. You can reach him on Twitter @AgProudRyan, as well as his personal blog, AgricultureProud.com.

Each weekday Eatocracy features a special food holiday. These can range from raw ingredients, regional specialties, or guilty pleasures that satisfy our sweet tooth. No matter where these foods come from, they have something in common – it all started on a farm.

March 25, 2014 is National Agriculture Day; one day we can set aside our differences and celebrate the diversity agriculture brings to the table. This encompasses not only farmers, but also everyone involved in growing, processing, transporting, and preparing our food for the table. The Agriculture Council of America organizes the event and support comes from numerous organizations across the agriculture and food spectrum.

Even though farmers and ranchers may be overlooked when it comes to influence on our food supply, this group of folks has a huge impact on our daily lives. Most of the non-food products we use on a daily basis include by-products from livestock animals and crops. Cotton fibers make up a large amount of our favorite clothing and many crops are used to generate energy and fuel. agriculture has a huge impact on rural business and economies, providing jobs, sources of tax revenue, and many farm organizations make large food donations possible for crisis and hunger relief.

This day has personal significance to me. A few years ago, someone asked why I was proud to be a part of agriculture. After traveling and working on farms and ranches across the country, I have gained a greater appreciation for the commitment members of the agriculture community make to improve our daily lives.

Not everyone will have an opportunity like mine to experience hands-on the science, technology, and conservation work that go into producing the raw materials for food and non-food products we consume every day. Consumers have lost confidence in agriculture practices and we have to improve the transparency of these.

The first step is gaining an awareness of what actually occurs in agriculture. Farmers, ranchers, and agriculture organizations are working to open doors and ask for a civil conversation. Can you provide that for them?

Join us today to celebrate the abundance of Agriculture. Look for events hosted by your state and local agriculture organizations. If you are online, follow the events in Washington D.C. hosted by the Ag Day organization. The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance is hosting an educational briefing on Capitol Hill and will provide an interactive platform. Follow along on their website, or on Twitter using the hashtags #FoodD and #AgDay.

Got a question for Ryan or any of our other farmers? Please share it below and we’ll do our best to have a great conversation.

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Previously:

When fields are frozen, there’s still work to be done

Opinion: Farming in a fishbowl

Opinion: Where are the female and minority farmers?

Opinion: Why you should talk to farmers

Farmers aren’t evil. Now can we have a civil conversation?

Who are you calling ‘rich’? A small farmer shares some hard data

What should a ‘local’ farm (and farmer) look like?

What a farmer wants you to know about how beef gets to your plate

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