National Ag Day: Farmers Grow, We Reap the Benefits
Thanks to the rich soil, abundant moisture, and plenty of open spaces, it is easy to say that southern Minnesota is serious about soybeans and keen on corn. That's why national Ag day has a special significance in the region.
Sam Ziegler, director of Green Seam, said: "Ag is involved in nearly everything that happens in this community. You can look at almost any corner and there's a manufacturer in a town. Whether it's Mankato or Waseca or Janesville...others. You see Ag happening. But also you'll start to see here in the upcoming weeks you'll see the planters and the field activity happening as well which is a part of the ag system. "
The goal of national Ag day is to put a spotlight on farming and to encourage people to think about where their food comes from when they sit down for a meal.
Colleen Van Blarcom, owner of 5 McDonald's franchises in Southern Minnesota, said: "Being a part of celebrating Ag day, it's a great feeling to recognize our economic impact we have in the lives of our suppliers, our farmers and their family."
Agriculture careers still remain a popular choice for college students. South Central College has seen a slight increase in the number of students choosing to major in Ag.
Don Hermenson, an agribusiness professor, said: "We're seeing a steady enrollment, or maybe a little bit of an incline. In agriculture right now, the farm industry, the farming part of it is in kind of a low spot, but the other parts of the Ag industry, the businesses, co-ops and so on, are showing strong interest in graduates."
There are over 73,200 farms in Minnesota and 88% of those are family owned. With numbers like those, it's easy to see the impact farming has on our community.