I’m posting early about Earth Day as I’ll be teaching little kiddos about corn, livestock and agriculture on Earth Day, April 22! Earth Day began 40 years ago and we’ve seen a tremendous shift in the preservation of our natural resources here in the U.S. However, little acknowledgement has been given to the most prolific environmentalist among us – the farmer and rancher.
Sometimes, this snub seems deliberate. While farmers and ranchers were busy implementing solutions for feeding and fueling the world, non-ag experts have portrayed modern agriculture as an engine of ecological disaster. Those who favor science over conjecture know this accusation to be unfair and untrue. However, these absurd arguments have now moved into the political arena and are endangering a sector of our economy that employs one out of six Americans.
We will need to feed 2.5 billion more people by 2050. The U.S. has the largest supply of arable land, greatest access to technology and most to gain from growing markets. Corn farmers play a significant role in modern, sustainable agriculture. This versatile crop is in the food we eat, cars we drive, packages we open, fabrics we wear and medicines we take. The truth is farmers grow five times as much corn as they did in the 1930s on 20 percent less land and produce 70 percent more corn per pound of fertilizer than they did 35 years ago.