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Brock: National Ag Day

I think as Americans there are a lot of people we take for granted like our soldiers, law enforcement, firemen and EMTs. The other group that it is easy to overlook is the American farmer.

Today is National Ag Day and a good time to take pause and really appreciate how blessed we Americans are to have the most productive farmers and ranchers in the world. Just a few generations ago most people grew up on a farm or worked in the industry. Today, that's no longer the case.

Many Americans think their food comes from the grocery store or restaurant and do not appreciate the role of American agriculture in their daily lives. Our farmers and ranchers produce so much food it is easy to take it for granted. They not only produce enough food to feed our nation, but much of the world.

Food and fiber doesn't just arrive at the grocery or clothing store or magically appear on our dinner table or in our closet. The agriculture industry provides plentiful and safe food for consumption as well as renewable energy and clothing. We rely on agriculture for the very necessities of life.

Agriculture is working harder and smarter than ever to meet the needs of Americans and others around the world. The average American farmer feeds about 155 people, and is vital part of our overall economy.

Agriculture is America's #1 export. Agriculture is the No. 1 employer with over 23 million people working in farming, processing, transportation and everything in between. Farmers have always been true stewards of the land they farm but through new technologies they are more environmentally friendly than ever before. American farmers are too often victim of their own hard work and success due to lower commodity prices.

America is the most powerful country in the world and not only because of our outstanding military and soldiers. Sometimes lost in the discussion of why we live in the greatest country in the world is the role America agriculture plays in making it true. Today when we sit down to eat on National Ag Day we should be thankful for the food that we consume and the hard working men and women who raised the food for our table.