Ag week is something we can all celebrate

Siblings walking in the fields (Photo: iStock - Dave Bergmeier)
Dave Bergmeier

Every time you eat a meal, put on a shirt or travel across the country, you can thank an American farmer and rancher.

While he or she does so with little fanfare and honestly does not want the attention, this week we differ. National Agriculture Week is celebrated March 17 to 23 with National Agriculture Day marked on March 19. President Joe Biden in a proclamation issued in the past year that on National Agriculture Day, “We celebrate all the farmers, farmworkers, ranchers, fishers, foresters and other agricultural workers who do so much to make our nation strong, fuel our economy and steward our lands. America owes them.”

The latest Census on Agriculture shows 1.9 million farms in the United States cover 880.1 million acres that generate food, fuel and fiber for Americans around the world. Farmers and ranchers provide food security in an insecure and troubled world.

Former U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican and past chairman of the Senate and House agriculture committees, said that without food security unrest follows, and that lends itself to danger on a global scale.


Today’s farmers and ranchers find themselves with many complexities. Many factors are beyond their control: markets, input costs and Mother Nature, just to name a few. It is something previous generations also understood, cussed and discussed.

As former President Dwight D. Eisenhower once famously said, “You know, farming looks mighty easy when you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” Another famous line in an Eisenhower speech given to Congress in 1956 was, “The proper role of government, however, is that of partner with the farmer—never his master. By every possible means we must develop and promote that partnership—to the end that agriculture may continue to be a sound, enduring foundation for our economy and that farm living may be a profitable and satisfying experience.”

We have long known that the right hand of the federal government does not always know what the left hand is doing. Regardless of which party is in power, working through mandates and regulations is an unfortunate byproduct of the cost of doing business.

Tough business

Agriculture is not for the faint of heart, and nothing is taken for granted. Many farms have millions of dollars in assets. All of that capital is needed to make a living for the farmer’s family, pay their bills and provide for employees.

Upon reflection, consumers do not always understand the struggle of today’s farmers and ranchers because each generation is farther removed from understanding about production agriculture. However, this week is an opportunity to raise an awareness.

Most farmers and ranchers are going to go about their business in a humble way, but we hope that consumers—and they have their own challenges—will take time to say thanks for a job well done.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].