Local Farm Bureau to host grocery giveaway for "Thank a Farmer" week

By KAITY HOLTMAN
Agriculture Editor

The Nodaway County Farm Bureau will join counties across Missouri Feb. 2-8 to celebrate “Thank a Farmer Week,” which showcases the important role farmers and ranchers play in our local community.

Robert Schieber, Nodaway County Presiding Commissioner, signed a proclamation on Jan. 15 to declare Feb. 2-8, 2014 “Thank a Farmer Week” in Nodaway County.

The proclamation reads, “be it therefore resolved that in recognition of the efforts of farmers on behalf of consumers around the world, I, Robert Schieber, presiding commissioner, join the Nodaway County Farm Bureau in honoring the agriculture producer by declaring February 2-8, 2014, Missouri Farm Bureau Thank a Farmer week.”

Farm Bureau leaders across the state will reach out to share how agriculture impacts everyone. From food, clothing, shelter and transportation, to personal hygiene items, medications, household items, many everyday necessities are derived from agricultural products.

The Nodaway County Farm Bureau will host a promotion at Maryville Hy-Vee on Wednesday, Feb. 5. From 10 a.m to noon, organization representatives will talk to shoppers about agriculture and enter names in a raffle. They will give away sacks of free groceries and Hy-Vee gift cards, totaling around $250. 

“We hope to bring awareness of the American farmer to the general shopper as they get their groceries,” said Terry Ecker, Nodaway County Farm Bureau president. “We’ll take time to thank the farmer for what he does by making sure consumers aware of where their food comes from.”

On average, nearly 40,000 different items are available to American shoppers. Restaurant menus boast a variety of items from which to choose.

“The role of the farmer is often taken for granted since grocery shelves are filled with an overwhelming number of food product choices,” Ecker said.

Consumers in the United States spend less than 10 percent of their disposable income on food, based on USDA figures. That amount is less than any other country in the world. 

“However many people fail to connect the dots to realize farmers are the source of their supply of food,” Ecker said.

Today’s farmers grow more food and do it with fewer resources than any other time in history, according to a news release from the Missouri Farm Bureau.

“As consumer demands change, farmers meet those needs by providing and increasing variety of goods,” the release said.

According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, technology and innovations in agriculture allow one U.S. farmer to provide enough food and fiber for 154 people.

Farms come in all sizes. Some are highly specialized in one commodity, while others are diverse. Statistics show farm families make up about 2 percent of the U.S. population, but are able to provide food for 100 percent of the population.

Agriculture is a central part of Nodaway County’s economy. Farm businesses give back to the community in many ways while they produce food and fiber for the world. Ecker and Stiens, on behalf of the Nodaway County Farm Bureau, ask that the county joins them to ‘Thank a Farmer’ throughout the week of Feb. 2-8.