You don’t farm, so why should agriculture and Farm Bureau matter to you?
You probably don’t farm.
According to the Census of Agriculture, roughly 131,000 Iowans farm, less than 5 percent of the state’s population.
So what I’m going to say next about the enduring value of agriculture ( March 18 – 24 is National Ag Week) and Farm Bureau ( celebrating its 100th anniversary this year) doesn’t apply to you, right?
Yes, farming and an organization that supports farmers probably don’t matter to you in the same way they mattered to your great-grandparents.
But they do matter, differently (and just the same).
Farming isn’t your job, but for many of us, it’s the economic foundation we’re standing on, with one in five Iowa jobs still supported by agriculture.
It’s the source of your food (Iowa ranks first nationally in corn, pork, and egg production) and your fuel (Iowa’s also first in ethanol and biodiesel production), and it’s still the lifeblood of the small town you might have grown up in.
And even if Iowa Farm Bureau isn’t helping your family farm, it remains an active contributor in your community (with a presence in all 99 Iowa counties), sponsoring the home team (Iowa Farm Bureau is sole title sponsor of the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union), investing in your next generation of leaders (awarding nearly $500,000 in annual scholarships), and reenergizing local businesses (in its first decade, Iowa Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa program has mentored more than 3,000 Iowans and has created $125 million in economic impact for rural Iowa).
It’s a constantly-evolving, interdependent relationship that began in the early 1900s, as Farm Bureau historian Tim Niess explains (watch video below).
So, do farming and Farm Bureau matter to you, as much as they mattered to your ancestors?
But if you take time during National Ag Week to study your roots and look around at the people, industries, and institutions that are helping enrich your community and everyday life, you might find that they matter even more.
Blog post by Zach Bader. Zach is Iowa Farm Bureau’s Digital Marketing Manager. Video by Megan Striegel. Megan is Iowa Farm Bureau's Online Marketing Intern.
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