Many countries have a day dedicated to their farmers. In the United States, Farmers' Day is celebrated on October 12. Farming is one of the oldest professions in history, and if it weren't for farmers we would not have the vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, proteins, meat, or eggs that are so essential for our everyday life. Farmer's day helps us to think about the role of farmers in society and recognizes all of the hard work they do year-round.
Farmers' Day was originally known as Old Farmers' Day, and its celebrations date back to the 1800s. From the beginning, the goal of Farmers' Day was to honor farmers, old and new, and all the work that they put into their crops. October 12 was chosen to celebrate Farmers' Day as it marks the end of the harvesting season, which means that farmers can participate in the celebrations.
Because of natural conditions, and due to new advances in technology that help prolong the growing period, in many areas of the United States people celebrate National Farmers' Month.
Farming is a 12,000-year-old profession, that not only feeds people but is also essential for a country's economic growth; In 2020 farms contributed $134.7 billion to the economy. Farmers do not always get the appreciation and support that they deserve, which is why Farmers' Day is important, because we must continue investing in the farming industry.
- 97% of farms in America are family owned.
- The average farmer is 58 years old, and 20.7% of farmers are registered as retired.
- At the time of the last census of US farms in 2017, there were 2,042,220 farms which accounted for 900,217,576 acres of land across the country.
- According to the 2017 census, 130,056 farms across America sell their produce directly to consumers, however, this is a decrease in the number of farms since the last census (144,530 farms in 2012).
- The most produced crop in the US is Corn. Between 2015-2019 fourteen billion bushels of corn were produced on average each year.
- However, potatoes are the most eaten crop in the US, representing 22% of all vegetable farms.
What to do on Farmers' Day
Many small farmers sell their produce every week at farmer's markets. If you have one near you, think about buying your food from there instead of the supermarket. Not only is farm-to-table a more sustainable way to eat, but the product is also organic and much better, and you are directly supporting farmers.
Pick-your-own farms are becoming more popular and they are a great family activity to do for the day. At the same time, because October is National Farmers' Month, it is the perfect time to visit a pumpkin patch and pick your Halloween pumpkins.
If there are any independent farmers, or community farms, from which you buy regularly, consider starting up a donation for them and investing in their growth.