March 18, 2015
Department of Agriculture hosts youth event to celebrate National Agriculture Day
More than 130 students from Jefferson City attended to learn about the state's number one industry.
(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce and the Missouri Department of Agriculture hosted an event at Fischer Farms today to celebrate National Agriculture Day. First grade students from Pioneer Trail Elementary and second grade students from St. Joseph Cathedral School visited Fischer Farms to learn about agriculture.
“National Agriculture Day is an opportunity for us to bring special attention to an industry that touches the lives of all Missourians on a daily basis, whether it be the fuel in their vehicles or the food on their plates,” said Director Fordyce. “Today’s event allowed us to educate young people who may not have spent much, if any, time on a farm about what farmers do on a daily basis.”
Students rotated through activity stations to learn about planting and harvesting crops, tending to farm animals and providing food to consumers. One of the students’ favorite parts, the pizza activity station, allowed attendees to learn exactly where different pizza ingredients come from while making their own paper pizza.
A $12.5 billion industry, agriculture ranks number one in Missouri. The state is home to nearly 100,000 farms and 300,000 Missourians are employed in agriculture-related occupations. Missouri also ranks in the top 10 states in a diverse array of agricultural goods and commodities, including corn, soybeans, cotton, rice, cattle, chickens, hogs and turkeys. Over the past five years, Missouri agricultural exports, shipped to more than 150 countries, have increased by more than a billion dollars.
Jay and Kim Fischer, Fischer Farms, have a diversified farm operation in south Callaway County, just across the Missouri River from the State Capitol, where they raise corn and soybeans. They also operate a pumpkin patch and corn maze every year in the fall.
National Agriculture Day, part of National Agriculture Week, March 15-21, was initiated in 1973 by the Agriculture Council of America, an organization uniquely composed of leaders in the agriculture, food and fiber communities dedicated to increasing the public awareness of agriculture's vital role in our society.
Photos of today’s event are available upon request. For more information on the department and its programs, visit agriculture.mo.gov.