From Growing Green Grass Founder Jerad Minnick:
This blog has evolved into an idea sharing tool for natural grass fields more so than a personal blog for my own. But tonight I want to share something personal. Today, March 25, 2014, is National Agriculture Day here in the USA. National Agriculture Day is “to celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture” to the entire world. This year’s theme is “365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed”. See this video:
It is appropriate for this blog to encourage the celebration of National Agriculture Day because we as turfgrass managers are part of the American agriculture society. Certainly we are not providing food, clothes, and durable good for every single person in this entire world like the American farmer. But we are growing plants, interacting with nature, and improving the environment. Here in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, turfgrass is the #1 “crop” grown in the region equaling 3.8 million acres. Amazing! Well done to each and every turfgrass manager out there.. lawns, sports, golf.. even the do it yourself homeowner!
But National Agriculture Day is personal to me because I am a product of the abundance provided by American agriculture. Because of my slick shoes and fancy suits, it likely comes as a surprise to many… I grew up on a family farm in the middle of north central Missouri’s fertile agricultural region. My family still operates that farm today. And they will continue to do so for generations to come, just as so many other American family farms (87% of farms are family farms).
Why do they choose that life? Simple. Because the demand on American agriculture is huge. Currently, there are over 313 million people in the United States. Out of all of those people, less than 1% are farmers. By 2050, agriculture production must double to meet the demand by you.. me.. your kids.. my kids.. and the other 9.6 billion people who will be living on our planet in 2050.
Yes, I said production must DOUBLE! Yes.. Increase by 100%. Wow! With less than 1% of the population involved, that kind of production increase will be IMPOSSIBLE! Right??
Thankfully, IMPOSSIBLE doesn’t exist to American agriculture. That demand will be met. Guaranteed. How do I know? Because I have experienced the spirit of the American agriculture personally. At 62 years old, my father has never really taken a single day off. Even with a rare muscle disease that has tried to hold him back, he has never stopped working. I have travelled over 50,000 miles in the last year. Stood beneath the Eiffel Tower… gazed atop a skyscraper in Tokyo… watched the sun set off the California coast. And all the while, my dad has been out there in “flyover country” (the preferred term of so many of my “big city” friends to describe those”red states” out there with nothing in them) just working away. And my mom is there supporting him. My grandpa worked the same way his entire life. Never, ever, ever have I heard them complain. Never in my life have I heard them say “I can’t”. Never in my life have I witnessed them cut a corner or take the easy way out of a challenge. Never in my life have I known them to see anything as IMPOSSIBLE.
Making the impossible possible is what the American agriculture does. And THAT is the spirit that National Ag Day celebrates.
And THAT is why I am thankful to be a product of American agriculture. Growing up on a farm is absolutely a different life. Waking up early, working late until you are too tired to go anymore.. and then going for another 2 hours, and always having to find a way to do a job by yourself that should take 3 people. Being part of less than 1% of American people isn’t easy. But it taught me lessons that I appreciate and use daily!
People ask me where I get some of my crazy ideas. Or why my big push is to encourage others to realize that Nelson Mandela was right when he said “It Always Seems Impossible Until Its Done”. Or my favorite.. “Impossible Is Not Something That Can Not Be Done, It Is Just Something That Has Not Been Done Yet”. Being a product of America agriculture, I know no other way of thinking. I appreciate and THANK YOU for letting me share that spirit with you on this blog. The spirit of making the impossible possible. The spirit of American agriculture.
Happy National Agriculture Day! Please THANK an American farmer!