National Ag Week runs through the 25th this week. Everyone from state government to high schoolers knows how important the industry is in South Dakota.
Agriculture has a $25.6 billion impact on South Dakota’s economy each year. Officials say this is why the state recognizes Ag producers and future leaders during the week.
As part of the week, the Agriculture Council of America hosts a National Ag Day Video Contest and Essay Contest. This year Bridger Gordon from Whitewood won the essay contest.
“Agriculture is all around us, my grandparents have worked on a farm their whole lives, producing food to feed the world, and now as our cousins and I are getting involved in agriculture, I’m seeing that agriculture is not just producing food on a farm but also whether it be agricultural researchers or food scientists, or anything like that, agriculture stretches beyond just food,” says Bridger.
South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Mike Jaspers agrees, saying National Ag Week is great way to highlight the industry.
“Even in a state like South Dakota the kind of things we kind of take for granted everyday whether it’s the food on our table, the clothing we wear or the fuel we put in our vehicles, or even down to the vaccines we use to combat the common cold or flu viruses and things like that, a lot of these things are directly touched by agriculture and agriculture right here in South Dakota,” says Jaspers.
Jaspers says it’s critical to encourage and educate youth interested in agriculture. He says this is the only way to take on the future challenges facing the industry.