NASHVILLE ““ Tennessee joins farmers, agribusinesses, state and local governments and citizens across the nation in recognizing March 15 as Ag Day. Agriculture is one of the top industries in Tennessee and provides a variety of economic, cultural and environmental benefits to the state.
“Agriculture and forestry are critical to the development of our state and nation and are just as relevant today as they have ever been.” said Haslam. “Agriculture and forestry are important to our economy as well as to the health and well-being of all our citizens, and I’m glad to recognize the contributions of our farmers and forestland owners.”
Tennessee has nearly 79,000 farms representing more than 10.9 million acres. Agricultural production alone, excluding forest products, generates more than $2.8 billion annually in farm cash receipts in the state. The total economic impact of agriculture and forestry on the state’s economy is estimated at $78 billion annually, contributing more than half a million jobs.
By 2050, the world’s population is expected to rise by a third, but demand for agricultural goods could rise by as much as 70 percent.
“World demand for food, fuel and fiber is increasing every day, and Tennessee is poised to fully participate in supplying that need,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson. “The Department of Agriculture will continue to focus on building our rural communities by helping our farmers improve their efficiency and competitiveness.”
Tennessee’s top agricultural commodities include soybeans, poultry, beef cattle, greenhouse and nursery products, corn, cotton, dairy products and tobacco. Tennessee is second in the nation in the number of meat goats and sixth in the number of equine. Tennessee also ranks in the top ten nationally in production of hardwood lumber, cotton, tobacco and fresh tomatoes.
On May 3, Tennessee lawmakers will celebrate “Ag Day on the Hill.” The day will highlight the importance of farming and forestry to the state, and will feature a variety of activities and exhibits, including livestock and farm equipment displays, and special presentations to the House Agriculture Committee.
For more information about National Ag Day, complete with facts, information and event planning tips, visit www.AgDay.org.