Happy Ag Day, and Ag Week. For most of us, who are either figuring out where to pile the latest snowfall covering the farm yard or, for those where the precipitation comes in a more liquid form, pulling yet another stuck farm vehicle from the mire, it might seem a little difficult to be celebratory.
I'm not sure of the history of why Ag Day, which this year is March 14, occurs in the middle of March. Certainly the promise of spring, the greening of the land, and the fresh suckling calves have something to do with the timing of these events that have been celebrated since 1973.
A large part of the celebration over recent years has been a focus on the future -- and specifically the ag youth that will shape that future. Later this week, a large contingent of FFA, 4-H and other rural young folks will make their way to Washington, D.C. to meet with their congressional representatives and other leaders, and impress upon them the importance of supporting agriculture and ag issues.
As someone who is blessed to participate in those Washington activities, this gathering of smart young minds is my favorite part of the whole event. I'm constantly amazed at the intellect and enthusiasm these young adults bring to the often cynical world inside the D.C. "Beltway."
In addition to these personal visits, each year the Agriculture Council of America selects outstanding essays and videos submitted by young folks to address the Ag Day theme. This year that theme is "Agriculture: Food for Life. How does our nation lead the way?"
This year's essay winner is Grace Brose of Box Elder, South Dakota. The video winner is Jacob Kandell, of Mason, Ohio. Their inspiring entries can be viewed online at https://www.agday.org/….
That Agday.org site also has a full listing of events and activities, and suggested projects that individuals can do with their local media and supporters.
Perhaps it's a sign that as I write this the sun has just now come out bright and warm. You can almost feel the snow melting and the ground giving up its excess moisture.
Ag Day is all about reminding the wide world that agriculture is an industry and a life worth celebrating. Perhaps after this winter that message is as much for us as it is for them!
Have a Happy Ag Day!
Greg D. Horstmeier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter @greghorstmeier
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