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Published April 01, 2013, 10:40 AM

Show support for agriculture

Remember where your food comes from.

By: Carmen Schramm, Agweek

Where does your food come from?

Many Americans think the answer is the grocery store. Frankly, that disturbs me. The grocery store isn’t where food comes from — that’s just from where it’s distributed. In reality, far too many people are unaware of the role of American agriculture in their daily lives — and what it really takes to have food on their dinner table.

Just a few generations ago, most people were a part of — and had friends or relatives involved with — agriculture.

Today, that’s no longer the case. That’s why I’m writing. American agriculture’s role in our daily lives is responsible for providing the necessities of life: food, fiber, clothing and shelter. And it’s time Americans recognize that contribution.

American farmers are working harder than ever, and it shows.

Today, each American farmer feeds more than 144 people, and the need for food produced in the United States is dramatic. Agriculture is this nation’s No. 1 export and is vitally important in sustaining a healthy economy. Ag is the No. 1 industry in South Dakota. We know its impact first-hand.

It’s not just the farmer who makes our food possible. The entire agriculture industry, all the way to the grocery store, are vital links in a chain that brings food to every citizen — and millions of people abroad.

Frankly, it’s easy to take agriculture for granted in America. Our food is readily accessible and safe. For this, we’re unbelievably fortunate ... but that doesn’t mean we don’t have an obligation to recognize how it’s made possible.

Editor’s Note: Schramm is with the Yankton (S.D.) Area Chamber of Commerce.