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NC Asst. Ag Commissioner Dr. Sandy Stewart: Farm-City Week

National Farm-City Week runs Nov. 16-23, providing a time to recognize the connection between rural and urban areas, particularly with the production of food. As it is held near Thanksgiving, community events around Farm-City Week provides an opportunity to recognize the contributions of farmers and their role in feeding the state, country and world.

  • We are close to wrapping up the annual Farm-City Week celebrations, which run Nov. 16-23. This national event that leads up to Thanksgiving is celebrated locally with special community events recognizing the many contributions of farmers in feeding the community and the world.
  • I know of events planned for Davidson, Edgecombe, Harnett, Iredell and Surry counties, but there may be others I am not aware of.
  • This is a great opportunity to celebrate the connection between rural and urban areas, specifically between farms and farmers and the consumers they serve.
  • With the cost of everything increasing so significantly, it is more important than ever to have and support local sources of food.
  • By buying and supporting local, you are helping ensure these businesses remain open and able to meet the needs of shoppers today and in the future.
  • Our population in North Carolina continues to grow as more people move to our state seeking jobs and wanting to enjoy the natural beauty of our state.
  • A growing population means growing opportunities for farmers seeking new markets, and growing challenges to educate people about agriculture production.
  • Farm-City Week events allows us to start conversations between the ag community and urban areas around food and over food.
  • Continued consumer interest in buying local foods provides an excellent foundation to celebrate our farmers.
  • I’m grateful for the opportunity these events provide.
  • I thought I’d share a few interesting numbers with listeners to reiterate the impact of farms.
  • There are over 2 million farms in the United States and their average size is 441 acres.
  • In North Carolina, we have over 44,000 farms with an average acreage of 181.
  • Texas has the most farms in the country at over 248,000. Its average farm size is 511 acres.
  • Two million farms nationwide are in rural areas. In most of those areas, agriculture is THE economic driver.
  • And finally, a fact that I am always impressed with is that one American farm feeds 166 people.
    • Unless you are growing your own food, we ALL depend on farmers for our food.
       
    • As we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, please offer a special thanks also to the farmers who feed us.