I worked in a bank for most of my college years.  I loved it.  I would go back today, if everything was guaranteed to be exactly the same.  I was a teller and really admired the cashier who was our boss.  In a small town, you know everyone, of course, so I knew the cashier and always thought a lot of him.

We had occasional, personal meetings with the cashier, kind of like a review.  I will never forget my first meeting with him.  I was nervous.  Who am I kidding, I’m always nervous.  But, I really admired this guy and hated to disappoint him. I remember sitting down and going over transaction numbers.  At the time, I had no idea what was good or bad so I sat there hoping to gauge how good or bad I was doing by his delivery.  As it would be, I wasn’t doing too bad, according to him, and he really appreciated how I interacted with customers.  He went on to talk about what he thought I was offering the bank and some things I could work on.  I was finally breathing a sigh of relief, this little meeting was wrapping itself up…that is…until he said this,

“Now that you know what we think you are doing for the bank, tell me what we are doing for you or what we could be doing for you.”

Granted, I was a newbie in the working world.  My resume to this point was filled with less than stellar jobs.  You know, those high school jobs that you just have and aren’t exactly super proud of.  But here I was in what a felt was an unusual situation.  My employer was asking me what the bank was doing for me.

Obviously, this stuck with me, my employer reaching out like that.  I have never forgot that and probably never will.

This brings me to today’s topic: It’s National Ag Week!  To celebrate, I thought we would talk about what Agriculture is doing for you…

So, we already know that a lot of what we all do from the foods we eat to the clothes we wear to the homes we live in are sourced mostly through agriculture.  No surprises there but maybe you’ll be surprised to know:

  • Nearly 97% of US farms are operated by families.  Everyone loves small business, farming is the first small business!
  • Farmers and ranchers account for only 2% of the US population.
  • Farmers today are producing 262% more food with 2% fewer inputs compared to farmers of 1950.  Holy technology!
  • The US has a positive agriculture trade balance meaning that we push more agriculture goods into the world markets than do we import.  Translate that into acres and we are planting 1 of every 3 acres to export.
  • Farmers and ranchers see only $0.16 of every dollar spent on food.  The rest of that dollar?  Well, it goes to labor, inputs, processing, marketing, transportation, and distribution.  A few decades back, in the 1980s, farmers and ranchers were putting $0.31 of every dollar in their pocket.
  • And, my favorite…the farmers of the US provide one of the safest, most affordable, and abundant food supplies in all of the world.  Yes, the ENTIRE world!

So, what is agriculture doing for you?  A whole heck of a lot, in my opinion.  If you have a farmer in your life (or a farmer’s wife or a farmer’s daughter or a farmer’s son) take time out this week to thank them for all they do!

**facts with the help of www.fb.org**