Farm-City Week highlights an unbeatable combo

Combos become combos because their parts, when put together, make each other better: Peanut butter and jelly; shrimp and grits; steak and potatoes; tacos and Tuesdays; jeans and a t-shirt; suit and tie.

All those parts and the resulting combos are produced in Georgia, which is home to another pair worth remembering and celebrating: Farms and cities.

It’s an interdependent relationship. Wherever there are lots of people, there is a need for food and clothing. And wherever there are farmers, there is a need for consumers.

As the holidays draw near, Cherokee County Farm Bureau invites you to celebrate that relationship by observing Farm-City Week Nov. 17-24.

Farm-City Week highlights the relationship between Georgia farmers and their partners in urban areas who prepare, transport, market and retail the food and fiber that farmers grow for consumers. Kiwanis International began Farm-City Week in 1955 to increase the understanding of the partnership between urban and rural residents.

Sending thank-you letters to farmers, sharing recipes that use Georgia-grown products at Farm-City Week events, and reading books – virtually or in person – to students are just a few of the activities county Farm Bureaus will hold in communities across Georgia as their schedules and community COVID scenarios allow to mark this annual event.

Cherokee County Farm Bureau is sponsoring a Third Grade Farm-City Week Poster Contest to all third-grade students in Cherokee County. The students are to make 8 1/2 x 11 posters showing how farmers and businessmen relate to each other. The posters will decorate the walls of the Farm Bureau Office for the month of December. In January the winning students will receive their posters and a gift card. There will be a first place and second place winner from each school participating. The first-place winner will receive a gift card for $25. The second-place winner will receive a gift card for $20. Each class teacher participating will receive a gift.

“Farmers and our urban partners have worked together to drive Georgia forward since the state’s beginning,” said Cherokee County Farm Bureau President William Grizzle. “Our state’s agribusinesses strive every day to produce food, clothing, shelter and other items necessary for American life. We’re proud of our role, and we’re extremely thankful that the non-farming public is there to support us.”

Agriculture is Georgia’s largest economic sector, and farmers depend on their partners in town such as their bankers, Extension agents, equipment and supply salesmen, to keep the agricultural economy going.

In 2019, food and fiber production plus the related industries involved with processing and delivering products to consumers contributed $70.1 billion to Georgia’s economy according to the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED). Agriculture and its related industries also contributed 359,220 jobs in Georgia in 2019.

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, in 2019, Georgia farmers led the nation in producing broilers and peanuts. Georgia ranked second in the U.S. for production of cotton lint and seed, pecans and watermelons, and third for bell peppers, blueberries, cucumbers and peaches.

In 2019, the top ten commodities grown in Georgia were broilers, cotton, timber, beef, peanuts, greenhouse plants, corn, hay, dairy and pecans, according to the University of Georgia’s CAED.

Farm-City Week is a great time to discuss how the economy impacts farmers and consumers. When you look at the price of groceries, note that in 2019 farmers received on average 7.6 cents out of every dollar spent on food at home and away from home, according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service. The rest of the dollar goes to wages and materials for food preparation, marketing, transportation and distribution, all of which have increased in price, too.

In 2020, Americans spent an average of 8.6% of their disposable personal income on food, the USDA reports, which is less than consumers in any other country spend. America’s healthy, safe, and consistent food supply is so affordable thanks to the production and delivery partnership between farmers and urban businesses.

Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization. Its volunteer members actively participate in activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. If you would like more information about agriculture please visit www.gfb.org, like Georgia Farm Bureau on Facebook or follow-on Twitter at @GaFarmBureau.