Regardless of your ZIP code, Georgians revel in a good meal. City or country, we all enjoy the look and feel of a new outfit. And when it comes to agriculture, we all have a role, whether it’s ginning the bolls or baking the rolls.
Georgia’s fall harvest season is winding down, and as Thanksgiving nears, Emanuel County Farm Bureau invites you to celebrate Farm-City Week Nov. 20-26.
Sending thank-you letters to farmers, sharing recipes that use Georgia-grown products and reading books – virtually or in person – to students are just a few of the activities county Farm Bureaus will hold in communities across Georgia as their schedules allow to mark this annual event.
Georgia farmers take great pride in producing the best food and fiber possible, and the connection farmers have with their urban partners allows our state to thrive. Our farmers grow a wide variety of food crops – beef, chicken, peanuts, milk, pecans, fruits and vegetables that we all love to eat – as well as high-quality cotton and timber. Our state’s agribusinesses prepare, market and transport the food and clothes to stores for consumers. It takes all of us to feed and clothe America.
Agriculture is Georgia’s largest economic sector, and farmers depend on their partners in town such as their bankers, Extension agents, equipment and supply salesmen, to keep the agricultural economy going.
In 2018, food and fiber production plus the related industries involved with processing and delivering products to consumers contributed $76 billion to Georgia’s economy according to the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED). Agriculture and its related industries also contributed 399,200 jobs in Georgia in 2018.
According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, in 2018, Georgia farmers led the nation in producing broilers, eggs and peanuts. Georgia ranked second in the U.S. for production of cotton lint and seed, pecans and rye wheat, and third for peaches in sweet corn. Georgia ranked in the top five for production of bell peppers, watermelon, blueberries, cucumbers, table eggs and tobacco.
In 2018, the top ten commodities grown in Georgia were broilers, eggs, cotton, beef, timber, peanuts, greenhouse, dairy, blueberries and corn, according to the University of Georgia’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.
Farm-City Week is a great time to discuss how the economy impacts farmers and consumers. When you look at the price of groceries, note that in 2018 farmers received on average 14.6 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home, according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service. The rest of the dollar goes to wages and materials for food preparation, marketing, transportation and distribution, all of which have increased in price, too.
In 2019, Americans spent an average of 9.5% of their disposable personal income on food, the USDA reports, which is less than any other country spends. America’s healthy, safe, and consistent food supply is so affordable thanks to the production and delivery partnership between farmers and urban businesses.
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization. Its volunteer members actively participate in activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. If you would like more information about agriculture please visit www.gfb.org, like Georgia Farm Bureau on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @GaFarmBureau.