In numerous countries, farmers are honored with a dedicated day of celebration. In the United States, Farmers' Day takes place on October 12th.
Farming, being one of the most ancient professions known to humankind, plays a pivotal role in providing us with essential products such as vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, meat, and eggs that sustain our daily lives.
This special day serves as a reminder to acknowledge and appreciate the tireless efforts of farmers throughout the year.
History of Farmers' Day
Originally named Old Farmers' Day, Farmers' Day has a rich history dating back to the 1800s.
Its primary purpose has always been to pay tribute to both seasoned and new farmers and recognize their tireless efforts in cultivating crops.
The date of October 12 was specifically selected for this celebration as it coincides with the conclusion of the harvesting season, allowing farmers to actively take part in the festivities.
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.
For over 12,000 years, farming has remained an indispensable profession, providing sustenance to people and playing a crucial role in a country's economic prosperity. In 2020 alone, farms contributed a staggering $134.7 billion to the economy.
Despite its significance, farmers often do not receive the recognition and support they deserve. That's why Farmers' Day holds paramount importance as it serves as a reminder of the necessity to continually invest in the farming industry and appreciate the hard work and dedication of those who work the land.
Fun Farm Facts
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.