The Kansas Department of Agriculture has proposed their own Kansas Food Day and set forth their own priorities:
1) Promote Well-Balanced, Nutrient Rich Eating Habits: Kansans of all ages should consume a healthful, well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, high-quality lean protein and low fat dairy products. We should help children develop healthful eating habits today that they can carry with them from childhood into adolescence and adulthood.
2) Support All Kansas Farmers and Ranchers: Consumers lose when interest groups seek to pit farmer against farmer. In Kansas, we know that it will take contributions from all farmers and ranchers, regardless of size or the type of production practices utilized, to meet growing food demands in Kansas communities, across the United States and around the globe.
Whether you are a farmer who grows crops on thousands of acres, a rancher with 100 head of cattle or a vegetable farmer who grows produce and sells at local farmers markets, in Kansas, we support you. We are committed to assuring regulatory programs are reliable and workable and that all farmers and ranchers have the ability to market their products as they see fit.
3) Continuously Improve Agricultural Production: Farmers and ranchers will have to double production in the next 20-30 years to meet food demands. Improvements in agriculture over the past 30 years have resulted in farmers and ranchers producing more safe, wholesome food using fewer resources.
For example, a study by Washington State University in 2007 found that today’s farmers and ranchers raise 13 percent more beef from 30 percent fewer cattle. When compared with beef production in 1977, each pound of beef produced today produces 16 percent less carbon emissions; takes 33 percent less land; and requires 12 percent less water.
Improvements in crop varieties and production have enabled Kansas farmers and ranchers to increase yield capabilities using fewer resources. In order to meet food demands, it will take cooperation among local, state and federal governments, universities, private entities, non-governmental organizations and farmers and ranchers.
4) Reduce Hunger in Our Kansas Communities: Reducing hunger and food insecurity rates in Kansas will take a cooperative effort to improve availability and access to food. Kansas Farm to School programs work to connect schools (K-12) and local farms and strives to serve healthful meals in school cafeterias, improve student nutrition, provide agricultural education opportunities and support local and regional farmers and ranchers.
I think these are some pretty dang good goals and we should all strive to promote agriculture in these ways. These priorities can be applied to any state obviously, not just Kansas. I'll be tweeting Kansas agriculture facts with the #foodday2012 tag. I hope you'll do the same with your own state!
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~