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“Agriculture: Food for Life” - ALFA Farm City

Essay by: Darrius Borden 

Video by: Bailey Robinson

What does food for life mean? What could it represent? Many would say that we need food to live. Technically, they are right. But where does our food come from? The grocery store? Many people in the world do not understand the importance of farming and the constant work that is needed to sustain our food supply. Many people do not know that only 2% of the U.S. population are farmers.   

Overall, farms around the world are decreasing in size. While the population grows, the number of farmers falls daily. Farmers are running out of land to plant their crops. While there are 323.1 million people in the United States, only 13,893,300 people are farmers. A single farmer can feed up to 155 people from one harvest. That may seem like a lot, but it really is not sufficient to sustain our population. What we need to understand is that, as our population grows, our number of farmers should increase, as well. More generations are being removed from the agricultural industry.

“Agriculture: Food for Life”- what does it mean? Most importantly, I would say it means that an agricultural background would enable you to provide food for yourself and your family, even when food supplies are low. More broadly, it means that agriculture provides sustenance for us all in more forms than food. Agriculture affects everyone, from the person being paid to plow the field to the clerk who works at the grocery store. It even extends to everyday experiences such as eating from your own garden or visiting the drive-through for a burger. Think about all for all of the work that is takes to make the burger. For example, someone has to grow the lettuce, tomatoes, sesame seeds, and the wheat to make the buns. Someone has to make the ketchup, the mustard, and the wrapper that is used to serve the burger. Agriculture surrounds us every single day. We need become familiar with how we use agriculture.

Every piece of food that you eat, no matter what, has come from some type of farm. Take hamburgers, for example. Even though the meat is processed, it still comes from an animal that was raised on a cattle farm, pig farm, sheep farm, etc. There are vegetarians everywhere nowadays, yet they still eat potato chips. Those are made from potatoes, obviously, but those potatoes came from a potato farm.

Moreover, agriculture is used to produce not just food, but everyday items such as shampoo, deodorant, gasoline (ethanol), and medicine.

    In Alabama, 50% of farms consist of cotton. There are cotton farms everywhere in Alabama. Other valuable crops that Alabama produces are peanuts, corn, grains, soybeans, peaches, apples, nectarines, plums, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries. Many residents of Alabama plant personal gardens of tomatoes, squash, corn, okra, and green beans.

So what does “agriculture: food for life” mean? It is a statement with tremendous power. It means that agriculture is the driving force behind everything we do. As long as we have farms, we have jobs, food, hygiene products, clothing, and shelter. As long as we have farms, we have life. It means that no matter what agriculture provides food to you and that as long as we have farmers, we have food for life.

In conclusion, it is apparent that  all of the food  we eat is the result of agriculture.  Planting and harvesting food from your own garden helps you see agriculture in a totally different way. Agriculture sustains humanity; it is responsible for feeding every single person in the world since the beginning of time. Modern day technology has allowed farmers to produce record number of crops to feed people. And while we now have tractors that can drive themselves, as well as attachments that make the work much easier, we still have a long way to go.

By Darrious Borden

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