Production agriculture has some giant hurdles
I was struggling to find a topic for this article when my wife inadvertently gave me an idea. She teaches middle school home economics and her students rotate each semester. During the fall semester, they do some projects with pumpkins because it is timely for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Some of her new students wanted to know if they would get to do the pumpkin projects in the spring semester. How many fresh pumpkins are available January through May? This story exemplifies one of the huge problems facing farming and ranching - a lack of knowledge or understanding and the corresponding disconnect by those who are not involved in production agriculture.
Farmers and ranchers have become a huge minority! Approximately 2% of the U.S. population is involved in farming or ranching. Of that number, more than half are small operators. Therefore, less than 1% of our population is truly engaged in farming. The majority of our population doesn't know when, where or how their food gets to them. They expect it to magically be there when they need it. Obviously, more than 1% of the population is involved in getting food to the consumer, but how many of them know that most of our vegetables and numerous other crops are planted in the spring and harvested in the fall? And how about the food animals? Do they know that cows have one calf per year and that milk cows freshen only once a year? What about the seasonality of pork and egg production? I think you are getting the picture. Production agriculture has some giant hurdles.
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