Editors' Notebook

Celebrating Agriculture's Worldwide Role During Ag Day

Greg D Horstmeier
By  Greg D. Horstmeier , DTN Editor-in-Chief
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Stephanie Dillon, advisory specialist with DeLaval, answers milking questions from a group of local preschoolers during National Ag Day. DeLaval was one of 30 companies and organizations who participated in the Celebration of Agriculture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during Ag Day, March 22. (DTN photo by Greg Horstmeier)

The official start of spring means many things to those of us in agriculture. Among those is National Ag Day, which this year is March 22.

DTN and Progressive Farmer Magazine have long been supporters of this celebration of farmers, farming, and all things agriculture, and we're especially excited this year as it will be a return to live events around the country after two years of virtual and smaller live happenings due to the pandemic.

This year's theme, Agriculture: Growing a Climate for Tomorrow, was chosen months ago. But it's grown more appropriate as the big day approaches.

You may quickly associate that theme with the role agriculture plays in the environment, particularly its influence on soil, water and air quality. Climate and sustainability have become part of almost any conversation about agriculture.

But the "climate" theme goes way beyond that literal meaning, especially in the complicated world we live in today. The production, distribution, sales and consumption of food and fiber production creates tens of millions of jobs in the United States alone. That production is a cornerstone of international trade, and the leadership, character and values that are part and parcel of that agricultural production continue to shape the world at large.

It's unfortunate that the excitement of such a celebration comes in the midst of great global uncertainty. The war in Ukraine, and the efforts of world leaders to bring that to an end, are a reality of the moment.

Here, too, U.S. agriculture is being called on to play its well-established role as a reliable source of food and fiber to the world. And we can continue to play that role, even as world events make the task difficult and more complicated, because of the innovations, the technologies, and the hard work that all of you in the industry provide.

Getting the messages of agriculture's role and importance out to consumer audiences is a big part of why National Ag Day exists. We're extremely excited to talk about this year's Celebration of Modern Agriculture, which will take place March 21-22.

More than 30 companies, ag industry and commodity organizations and other agricultural groups will have booths on the National Mall from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. during each day. Supported by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, this celebration will feature a collection of combines, sprayers, tractors and other pieces of modern farm equipment to showcase the innovation and complexity, and the capital investment, of modern agriculture. Other booths and displays will cover the many other facets of modern farm production, all with the hope of leaving visitors with a better knowledge and appreciation of what agriculture means to the nation and to the world.

This Mall event has been nearly three years in the making, as COVID-19 pushed back the ability to meet physically and to have an event intended to draw large numbers of people into a particular spot. So, everyone involved in Ag Day planning is excited to finally gather and represent the industry in such a public venue.

To learn more about Ag Day activities, go to www.AgDay.org. There's a list of all the official events and links to the virtual presentations that will run during the day. There are also materials and other resources for anyone wanting to hold Ag Day events of their own.

There's also a video with more information on the day and DTN's involvement here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….

I hope you'll participate in the events as you can. And even if your Ag Day involves more work than celebration, I hope you'll take a moment to think about all those who make U.S. agriculture happen, including yourself.

Greg D. Horstmeier can be reached at greg.horstmeier@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @greghorstmeier

Greg Horstmeier