2013 Theme"Alabama Agriculture: Growing for You and Me"
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.
As farmers increase production and improve efficiency to meet the growing demand for food, consumers often are bombarded with information questioning the safety of modern agricultural practices. Incidences of food borne illness — while often affecting a relatively small number of people — garner headlines and create panic. These stories can lead to consumer boycotts of certain products or brands, which drives up prices. In reality, the incidence of food borne illness is on the decline. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the occurrence of such diseases dropped 23 percent from 1998 to 2010. These facts, however, have done little to stop the onslaught from those who challenge the safety of America's food supply. Catch phrases like "Mad Cow" and "Pink Slime" create misinformation and cause consumers to question not only their food, but the farmers who produce it.
Our theme of "Alabama Agriculture: Growing for You and Me." will give Farm-City committees and students a chance to counter some of the misinformation by showcasing the safety of our food supply and discussing how it impacts the security of our nation. The productivity of American farms allows our country to be independent and for our citizens to enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle because they don't have to worry about the availability or affordability of food. For Alabama farmers, however, food safety is not about feeding the world, nor is it merely a patriotic gesture. For them, it is a way of life. Their families live on the land and are the first to eat the bounty it produces. This makes food safety an intensely personal experience for farmers. They are dedicated to producing healthy, wholesome products for their families and ours -- not just today, but for generations to come.