By Kerin Clark, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation

Having food that is readily available is all most of us have ever experienced in our lifetime.  The old quote comes to mind:  “When people have food, they have a lot of problems.  When people don’t have food, they only have one problem.”  Fortunately, thanks to agriculture and the impacts of technological advances, we don’t have to worry about not having food to eat--Agriculture is Amazing!

If you stop and truly think about this it will fill you with wonder—Agriculture is Amazing!  It is astounding to think that today each United States farmer produces food and fiber for 155 people in the United States and abroad.  Compare that to only 19 people in the year 1940—Agriculture is Amazing!

Agriculture…Keeping Wyoming Strong

Agriculture is amazing and it works to keep Wyoming strong in so many ways.  In the 2012 State of the State Address, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead credited the agriculture industry for Wyoming’s strength.  “Wyoming has remained strong because we are an agriculture state,” Governor Mead stated.  “Agriculture was key in the creation of our state and it remains a part of our heritage, culture and economy.”

Strength in economy

The value of agriculture in Wyoming exceeds one billion dollars (Wyoming Agricultural Statistics 2011).  Additionally, agriculture has a ripple effect on local economies.  Agriculture puts money back into local communities in many ways including purchases at the implement dealers, veterinarian clinics, grocery stores and more. 

Local governments also benefit when land remains in production agriculture through property taxes and cost of services.  Production agriculture lands only require 69 cents in services for each dollar paid in local taxes.  Compare that to $2.40 cents in services for each dollar paid in local taxes by rural residential landowners.  (University of Wyoming, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dept. of Agricultural and Applied Science.)

Strength in open spaces

Agriculture land keeps Wyoming open providing for clean air, clean water and that critical winter habitat for Wyoming’s wildlife.  This also provides great strength to the tourism industry in Wyoming.  Thank a farmer or rancher today for the open space we all enjoy. 

Strength in our values

As Governor Mead said in the State of the State address, Wyoming was founded as an agriculture state.  Our values stem way back to our Territorial days.  The values of hard work, honesty, integrity, trust, and pride in our work run deep here in Wyoming. 

Strength for generations

Take time to meet some of the folks in your community who are a part of the agriculture industry.  For generations, farmers and ranchers have cared for the land and the animals.  For generations, farmers and ranchers have produced food and fiber for our nation.  For generations, farmers and ranchers have provided habitat for wildlife.  For generations to come, they will continue to be a part of keeping Wyoming strong!

The Wyoming Farm Bureau invites all Wyomingites to “Celebrate Amazing Agriculture” and learn more about its role in your daily lives and recognize the issues impacting agriculture.  We proudly celebrate Wyoming agriculture and its people every day of the year and specifically on Wyoming Agriculture Day, March 8, 2012.