SC Commissioner Hugh Weathers: It’s National Ag Day!
Today is National Ag Day. Here to tell us more about how the SC Department of Agriculture is celebrating, is Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers.
- National Ag Day allows us to take the time to recognize, appreciate and thank our ag workers, farmers and ag industries.
- Agriculture provides so much from, food to clothing. To put it in perspective, each American farmer feeds more than 165 people.
- I think we all saw just how important agriculture is to this country and to South Carolina during the pandemic. Now more than ever, people want to know where their food comes from. Consumers have placed their confidence in SC agriculture to produce affordable and trusted food- providing assurance during a time of uncertainty.
- Agriculture continues to be the leading industry for the state, with SC Agribusiness providing $46.2 Billion total economic impact and over 246,000 jobs.
- Continuing this means educating the public, farmers and our youth about agriculture opportunities, technology, research and much more. Through organizations like 4-H, FFA, and Commissioner’s School for Ag, students with a passion for this great industry become equipped to carry on the many jobs and duties it requires, find solutions to our most pressing challenges and carry forth the many agriculture traditions in South Carolina.
- I’ll leave you with a few fun facts to keep in mind throughout the day:
- As for production in 2020 South Carolina peanut acreage was 82,000 and this year we are expecting an increase to 90,000 acres.
- In 2020, every American consumed an average of 7.6 pounds of peanuts…an all-time high!
- 96% of farms in South Carolina are family-owned and 93% were small family farms as of the last Ag Census.
- SC has about 4.7 million acres of farmland, or 25% of the state’s land mass.
- Most years, we grow more peaches than any other state besides California.
- Our No. 1 agricultural product in SC is broilers, with an annual production value of $979 million, Broilers are chickens raised for meat.
- I encourage you to thank a farmer or anyone you know that works in the ag industry today. Happy National Ag Day from SCDA!