Food Check-Out Day is being recognized today. This is the day that the average American will have earned enough money to pay for his or her family’s food supply for the entire year. This is a good indication of how affordable food in America is, especially when we consider the fact that it will take until late April to pay for our taxes.

Less than 2 percent of Americans are actively involved in the production of food, although agriculture-related careers provide jobs for 17 percent of the U.S. population. It is the efficiency and productivity of today’s farms, which are mostly family farms, that enables so many Americans to work in unrelated areas.

Farmers supply more than just the food we eat. They provide open spaces and wildlife habitat for tourism. They pay taxes that help support education costs as well as police and fire protection, even though the land that is being taxed uses little, if any, of these services.

While food in America is affordable, the share the farmer receives is getting smaller and smaller. Many farmers receive less for their commodities that they did 10 years ago, yet their expenses have skyrocketed. This makes it more and more difficult for farmers to stay in business.

Franklin County is blessed to have an extremely diverse agriculture base. To show support for area farmers, consumers should purchase their food from local producers and processors whenever possible. Local farmers will benefit, as will the consumer, since local products are usually fresher and of higher quality.

Pamela Harnden, president

Franklin County Farm Bureau

Dryden



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