November 14, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jennifer Whittaker, email@example.com
FARM BUREAU CELEBRATES FARM-CITY WEEK
MACON, Ga. – Did you know that nearly 1 in 20 workers in our national economy plays a role in getting food and fiber from the farm to consumers? If you appreciate the variety and quality of the food and clothes available when you shop, then Georgia Farm Bureau invites you to join the organization in celebrating National Farm-City Week, Nov. 16-22.
Farm-City Week celebrates the partnership between farmers and their urban colleagues who help prepare, transport, market and retail the food and fiber farmers grow for America’s consumers. This year marks the 57th anniversary of the annual celebration. Kiwanis International began National Farm-City Week in 1955 to increase the understanding of the partnership between urban and rural residents. Farm days at schools, farm tours, banquets and mayoral proclamations are just a few of the activities that will be held in communities across the country to mark this annual event.
County Farm Bureaus across Georgia are celebrating Farm-City Week with events designed to increase awareness of agriculture in their communities. Counties have been holding events throughout November as schedules allowed.
“Farm-City Week is a great chance for farmers to tell consumers how we grow the food, fiber and lumber that feeds, clothes and houses America. Our country has an incredible food and fiber supply system that gets the commodities we grow from the farm to consumers,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “It takes the work of commodity brokers, food processors, food inspectors, cotton ginners, clothing manufacturers, truck drivers, retail clerks and many more to get our food and clothes to consumers. This partnership is what we’re celebrating this week.”
According to the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED), Georgia’s food and fiber system consists of industries involved in agricultural and forestry production, production support services, food and fiber processing, production inputs, food retail and wholesale, and food services.
Georgia’s food and fiber sector had sales of $107 billion in 2010, ranking it first among the state’s economic sectors. Georgia’s food and fiber sector employs more workers - 688,586 - than any other sector in the state economy. More than one in seven Georgians were employed within the food and fiber system in 2010.
Georgia farmers lead the nation in producing broilers, peanuts and pecans, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics show. Georgia farmers also produce a majority of the cotton, eggs, fruits and vegetables grown in the United States.
The top ten commodities grown in Georgia were broilers, cotton, eggs, timber, peanuts, beef, horses, dairy, greenhouse horticulture products and pecans, according to the 2010 Georgia Farm Gate report compiled by the CAED. Although no vegetable made the top 10 commodity list, the farm gate value of all vegetables grown by Georgia farmers was almost $753 million, making vegetables one of the top four commodity groups that contributed to all Georgia commodities having a total farm gate value of $12 billion. Poultry/eggs, row/forage crops and livestock/aquaculture were the top three commodity groups.
Georgia farm and timber owners also provide environmental benefits to the state by preserving natural habitats for native plants and wildlife. Georgia contains the largest area of forestland in the South with 24.8 million acres, accounting for 67 percent of the state’s land area, according to a 2011 report just released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.
As you prepare your Thanksgiving meal this year and think about the things for which you’re grateful, consider adding the farmers and urban agribusiness employees who helped get the food you will eat this holiday season to your table.
For a high-resolution photo to accompany this release, click here.
CUTLINE FOR ACCOMPANYING PHOTOGRAPH: GFB President Zippy Duvall, seated, signs a proclamation declaring Nov. 16-22 Farm-City Week. Pictured from left, GFB Middle Georgia Vice President Robert Fountain, GFB North Georgia Vice President Bernard Sims and GFB 1st Vice President Gerald Long join Duvall for the signing..