Here are some things Georgia farmers are thankful for: rich soil, access to water, and a climate favorable for a long growing season.
Here’s another one, equally important: The folks in town. Bankers, lawyers, trucking companies, food processors, the list goes on and on, ending with consumers. Agriculture is Georgia’s largest economic sector, and that status depends on the cooperation between farmers in the state’s rural areas and their partners in town.
As we prepare to sit down with family and friends for Thanksgiving, Catoosa County Farm Bureau invites you to celebrate Farm-City Week Nov. 14-21.
Farm-City Week highlights the relationship between the state’s farmers and their partners in urban areas who prepare, transport, market and retail the food and fiber farmers grow for the American consumer. Kiwanis International began Farm-City Week in 1955 to increase the understanding of the partnership between urban and rural residents. Farm days at schools, farm tours, banquets and mayoral proclamations are just a few of the activities that will be held in communities across Georgia to mark this annual event.
“Farmers are acutely aware that all businesses need support systems in order to thrive, and we certainly appreciate our friends inside the city limits for their contributions to our industry,” said Catoosa County Farm Bureau President Bernard Sims. “Getting food, clothing and shelter to our consumers takes a cooperative effort.”
According to the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED), food and fiber production and related processing directly and indirectly generated a total economic impact of $73.3 billion in 2016, accounting for 7.5 percent of the state’s economy. In addition, agriculture and related occupations supplied more than 383,600 jobs in 2016.
According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Georgia farmers led the nation in producing broilers, peanuts, pecans, and spring onions. Georgia was also in the top three production states for sixteen other commodities. In 2018, the top ten commodities by value grown in Georgia were broilers, cotton, eggs, timber, peanuts, beef, greenhouse plants, dairy, pecans and blueberries.
Farm-City Week is a great time to discuss how the economy impacts farmers and consumers. When you look at the price of groceries, note that farmers receive on average 15 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home, USDA statistics show. The rest of the food cost covers the expenses of wages and materials for food preparation, marketing, transportation and distribution, all of which have increased in price, too.
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization. Its volunteer members actively participate in activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. If you would like more information about agriculture please visit www.gfb.org, like Georgia Farm Bureau on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @GaFarmBureau.