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National Agriculture Day encourages people to know more about agriculture

Tractor spraying soybean field at spring. (iStock photo)

Potatoes are a beloved vegetable for Americans with the average person eating about 124 pounds per year, according to the website Idaho Potato Museum. While eating a potato in one of its many forms, including french fries, potato chips, mashed potatoes, hash browns, tater tots, potato salad or gnocchi, it might be easy for someone to forget how the food came to be on their plate.

National Agriculture Day encourages people to learn where their food came from and the hardworking men and women who spend their time making that possible.

"We don't often stop and think about the back-breaking work, even with modern technology, that goes into planting and harvesting and making sure that they have healthy crops to send to the market so that we can just go the grocery store and purchase that loaf of bread," said Cheryl Viola, executive director of the Dickinson Chamber of Commerce.

The DCC will be providing grocery store shoppers with an informational flyer Tuesday to highlight North Dakota produce, recipes and the importance of the day.

The key points of the day, according to the flyer, are to encourage every American to:

• Understand how food and fiber products are produced.

• Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.

• Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.

• Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.

The Agriculture Council of America has been hosting the event for 44 years. This year's theme is "Agriculture: Food for Life."

Larry Schnell, owner and operator of Stockmen's Livestock Exchange in Dickinson, said children need to be educated on where not only their food but some of their basic necessities come from.

"Each generation moves farther away from any connection to a farm or a ranch, so having an Ag Day is great to remember ... that milk ends up in a grocery store, but that's not really where it comes from—nor beef, nor bread, nor any of the other things," he said.

National Ag Week is celebrated from March 19-25.