2014 Theme "Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed"
The purpose of Farm-City Week is to bring about a better understanding between rural and urban people by increasing their knowledge and appreciation of each other as partners in progress. Farm-City Week is celebrated each year beginning on the Friday prior to and ending on Thanksgiving Day.
Each morning, most Americans awake to a bounty of food and fiber, never realizing the science, management, labor and cooperation it takes to feed, clothe, shelter and fuel the world. This year, Ag Day and the Alabama Farm–City Committee celebrate the marvel of farm production with the theme “Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed.”
As the sun comes up on Alabama agriculture each day, we find farmers feeding cows, walking through chicken houses, working on farm machinery, planting crops, harvesting fields, greeting customers at the farmers market, watching the weather and praying for blessings from above. But, if we look closer, we’ll also see them creating habitat for wildlife, protecting streams from erosion, helping neighbors, leading communities, teaching children and creating jobs for thousands in nearby towns and cities.
Each sunrise is a new opportunity for Alabama’s largest industry. It’s a chance to explore new varieties and technologies; educate future generations about the land; and experience the joy of a hard day’s work, a perfectly ripe peach or a bumper crop. For farmers, however, each day also brings responsibility and challenges. Seven billion people worldwide depend on agriculture for sustenance, and the number is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. That means each farmer must not only continue feeding about 155 people, but he or she also must find ways to be more efficient and productive.
In Alabama, agriculture is a $70 billion a year business and creates jobs for 22 percent of the workforce. But farmers don’t do this alone. Alabama agriculture is a network of people and businesses that involves researchers, farmers, bankers, suppliers, processors, transporters, retailers, regulators and more. Farm–City and Ag Day give us a chance to honor the cooperation and interdependence that — day in and day out — keep us fed.
“Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed” reminds us that we should never take our food — or the rural–urban partnerships that bring it to our tables — for granted.