FARM BUREAU CELEBRATES FARM-CITY WEEK NOV. 20-26
Farmers, urban businesses partner to keep America fed and clothed
Summerville, Ga. – For many Georgians, hardly a meal goes by without chicken or eggs – or both – somewhere on their plate. They’re nutritious and tasty, no doubt, and in recent years they’ve taken on an additional significance: Odds are they’re locally grown. Georgia produces more chicken broilers than any other state, and Georgia is among the top egg-producing states. According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, 102 of the state’s 159 counties produce more than $1 million worth of poultry annually. Of those, 14 counties’ poultry production tops $100 million.
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 1955 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.
To celebrate Farm-City Week, the Chattooga County Farm Bureau hosted their annual Farm-City Breakfast on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at the Summerville Train Depot. The delicious meal was prepared by Chattooga County Farm Bureau members, David & Darlene Henry, at Henry’s Barbeque in Summerville. Community leaders attended the breakfast and learned about several issues facing agriculture today. Roby Murray, Georgia Farm Bureau 1st District Field Representative, spoke about the Avian Influenza and the implications that it has on farmers and consumers. He also spoke about how fortunate our nation is to be able to access healthy, wholesome foods. Linda Leslie, co-chair of the Chattooga County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee, informed the attendees about the role that agriculture plays in Georgia’s economy.
“Farmers greatly appreciate the role our agribusiness partners play in getting food to consumers’ plates,” said Chattooga County Farm Bureau President Wayne Hurley. “It’s a constant team effort to get food produced, prepared, marketed and shipped. We’re extremely proud to be a part of providing nutritious, safe and delicious food for our consumers. Whether it’s chickens and eggs, fruits and vegetables or high-protein beef, we’re committed to making it the best it can be.”
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 $72.5 billion for Georgia and created more than 371,600 jobs in 2013, 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 blueberries, broilers, peanuts, pecans and spring onions, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics show. In 2013, the top ten commodities grown in Georgia were broilers, cotton, eggs, beef, timber, corn, peanuts, dairy, horses and pecans.
Georgia agriculture also helps our nation have a positive agriculture trade balance, which means we export more agricultural products than we import. In 2014, Georgia companies exported $3.1 billion worth of farm products, according to the USDA, part of the $141.8 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.