Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Daria Anderson-Faden
The Observer 

Today's World Can Learn A Lot From Ag Community


March 26, 2020

Newell Family / For The Observer

Fourth generation Kimball County farmer-rancher Shelia Newell shared this moment with her late mother, Betty Baur Newell. Agriculture runs through the family's blood.

The coronavirus might stop the attention and media blips about the celebration of National Ag Week, but it shouldn't stop us from appreciating and thanking farmers, ranchers and producers.

This is National Ag Week, March 22-28

Today, the world can learn a lot from the agricultural community.

Fourth-generation Kimball County farmer-rancher Shelia Newell is well aware of National Ag Week and its centerpiece, National Ag Day, which fell on March 24.

She said it is a "celebration of the Ag industry. It is dedicated to those in the agricultural setting and helps make the public aware of the importance of agriculture in today's world."

Shelia's great grandfather was John G. Baur, who homesteaded south of Dix, and her father was the first veterinarians to practice in the tri-state region. Those days the United States was a rural society and most Americans were involved in agriculture, so they knew and understood it, but that is no longer true and that is why it is important to educate and promote agriculture today.

Ironically, farmers and ranchers have always practiced social distancing.

Have you ever seen them talking to one another from pickup to pickup on a gravel road? There is certainly 6 feet between them.

And farmers are in their tractor all day by themselves, while ranchers check cattle alone, day and night. They invented social distancing and practice it day in and day out.

National Ag Day recognizes and celebrates the contribution of agriculture in our everyday lives. Everything we eat, use and wear is provided to us by agriculture, but few people truly understand this contribution.

The National Ag Day program believes that every American should:

• Understand how food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced.

• Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.

• Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.

• Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agricultural, food, fiber and renewable resource industries.

National Ag Day began in 1973 and is hosted by the Agriculture Council of America. The National Ag Day website has vital facts about agricultural and a variety of activities to help learn and promote agriculture.

Family farms account for 90% of all U.S. farms and more than 21 million people depend on farming and related industries for their employment. The average American farmer feeds approximately 166 people throughout the world.

Thomas Jefferson's words still ring true today: "Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens."

This article includes content from the National Ag Day website at agday.org.


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