By Fred Woods
Farming feeds Alabama, rather well we might add, and the Lee County Farm-City Committee recognized the county’s “Stewards of a Healthy Planet” with National Ag Day on March 15. Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller presented Lee County Farm-City Committee Chairman Don Thrash with a proclamation at Opelika’s City Council meeting on March 15 proclaiming Ag Day in the city of Opelika.
This year is the 43rd anniversary of National Ag Day, organized by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA). While ACA is celebrating in the nation’s capital the Lee County Farm-City Committee is recognizing the event locally.
We are a part of a national effort to tell the true story of American agriculture and remind everyone that agriculture is a part of us all,” said Thrash. “Farmers care for livestock year-round and row-crop farmers will soon be in the fields again to plant corn, other grains, cotton, peanuts and fruits and vegetables to feed and cloth us all. Without agriculture, we don’t eat, and have a lot less to wear, so it’s important to recognize the work of our farmers.
The 2016 theme for National Ag Day, “Stewards of a Healthy Planet,” emphasizes how farmers care for their land, animals and crops in order to provide healthy food and suitable clothing for all of us.
Although we hear more about the automobile industry and other high-tech industries, agriculture is still very important to Alabama’s economy, contributing over $70 billion in economic impact and providing more than 20 percent of all state jobs.
The top commodities in Lee County are forestry, greenhouse and nursery products and beef cattle. In all, Lee County agriculture (and forestry) contribute $815 million to county economic activity, more than 11 percent of the total.