To put it plainly: America would be nothing without our farmers. Civilization was founded on agriculture, and the United States is no different. And no matter how many times the statistic is repeated, it will remain shocking that only 2% of Americans are farmers.
There’s no two ways about it, either. We owe this small percentage everything. From keeping our country (and many others) fed, to fueling the trucking, railroads, and transportation industries and much more, farmers deserve our thanks every day and not just National Farmer’s Day.
But we love our holidays, and dedicating a day to some of the hardest working Americans is the worthiest of causes. So join us, fellow Outsiders, in thanking our U.S. farmers this October 12 in the best ways possible.
Top Ways to Support Local Farmers this National Farmer’s Day
National Farmer’s Day coincides with harvest season. This is on purpose, of course. But it also sets the table for perfect ways to support your local farmers:
- Buy produce at your local farmers’ markets. It goes without saying, but your local farms will sell their produce directly at farmers’ markets. This cuts out the middle man and maximizes profit. While you’re there, take the time to get to know your local providers. And if this is new territory for you, you’ll be thrilled at how much better local vegetables, fruits, eggs, and meat taste fresh from the source. The USDA has an excellent farmers’ markets directory to find one near you this National Farmer’s Day.
- Pick-your-own farms are an excellent family activity and an even better way to buy direct from the source. Pumpkin farms are especially popular during October. But don’t forget that many berries are ripe for the picking this time of year, too. This pick-your-own farmers list is a great place to locate a local farmer.
- Many towns host local festivals for National Farmer’s Day. Check your town or city’s government website to see if one’s happening near you, as farmers will be set up there, too.
If you really want to get involved, Farmer’s Almanac suggests investing in a CSA farm share for next year’s harvest. CSA is community-supported agriculture, and it’s exactly what it sounds like.
If you do invest, you’ll get a bundle of fresh produce every week – not just this National Farmer’s Day. The food will depend on which farm(s) you invest in, but they’re all a worthy trade-off. If you’re considering it, this list will help you find a local CSA.
22 Million Jobs, 10.9% of Employment, and Billions to the U.S. Economy
We doubt you need more convincing, but consider this. In 2019, farming/agriculture was responsible for 22.2 million jobs in America. This includes food producing sectors, Times Recorder cites. So even though only 2% of Americans are farmers by trade, they’re responsible for upholding a whopping 10.9% of U.S. employment.
The 74,500 farms in Ohio alone are responsible for a staggering contribution of $124 billion to the U. S. economy. According to Farmer’s Almanac, an incredible 97.1% of American farms are family-owned-and-operated, too.
And if that’s not a support system worth supporting, we don’t know what is.
So thank you, U.S. farmers. And a happy National Farmer’s Day, America!