You might be an #agnerd if… You look for facts about local agriculture each and every time you travel. Turns out I’m not the only one who showed up to this week’s conference with this interest. Resulting from a blog post from Janice Person, I joined several other farmers and ranchers across the country, and even Canada, for a swap meet. Each participant brought along items from their home state to swap. I learned some pretty interesting things from across the country. (I didn’t have the mind to catch who I received everything from so if you brought items to the meet, leave a comment about what you brought.)
Texas – Dublin Dr. Pepper Interesting fact, Dublin Dr. Pepper is the only Dr. P produced with the original formula, using pure cane sugar. The bottler began production in 1891 and still functions today. Thank a sugar cane farmer!
Kansas – Pancake and Waffle Mix The Old Muffin Factory in McPherson, Kansas is alive and well as a family business. You can find their products in specialty shops in the country. These muffin, pancake, and waffle mixes are made from Kansas flour. Thank a wheat farmer!
Wisconsin – Cheese and Moo Pies According to EatWisconsinCheese.com, the state has a storied history in cheese production, dating back 160 years. Wisconsin is home to 13,000 dairy farms, with over 1.26 million cows producing an average of 20,079 pounds of milk each per year. Thank a dairy farmer! The Cow Pies were new to me. The Baraboo Candy Company has been producing chocolate goodness in Baraboo, WI since 1981. The mini cow pie was a perfect size for me.
Kentucky – Soybeans and Livestock Kentucky soybean farmers produce 1.3 million acres of this miracle bean each year. The average yield is 40 bushels per acre. Soybeans are a great protein source for many livestock and human foods. In 2009 KY produced livestock and farm goods valued at $4,257,623,000. Thank a soybean and livestock farmer!
California – Olives This one was pretty cool for me. I got Granzella’s jalapeno stuffed olives. I can’t wait to open the jar and try em! Granzella’s has been providing great California food products since 1976. In 2009 the state produced more than 23,000 tons of commercial olives. Thank a California olive farmer!
Illinois – Oil/gas This was some new facts for me. More than 10,000 small companies produce 10 million barrels of oil annually. Thank those oil and gas workers in Illinois!
Michigan – Kellogg’s cereal and Faygo soda Kellogg‘s is a familiar name for anyone eating breakfast and cereal products. I received a box of corn flakes from Battle Creek, MI. Faygo soda is a product from Detroit new to me. Never heard of it before but apparently it’s a staple in the mid-West. (We call it a coke in Arkansas) Either way, thank a Corn farmer!
Ohio – Pork Bacon. Ohio is big pork country. In fact hogs are the state’s No.4 commodity, valued at $415 million each year. The Ohio Pork Producers Council provides lots of educational material on their website. Thank a hog farmer!
Alberta, Canada – Cattle I had the awesome opportunity to meet some Alberta farmers and ranchers. I learned Alberta is cattle country. 53% (26,500) of Alberta producers have beef cattle with 5.5 million head (40% of Canadian total). Thank an Alberta Cattle Rancher!
Ontario, Canada – Maple syrupCanada has great maple syrup too! Robinson Maple produces certified organic maple products only 2.5 hours from Detroit. Thank an Ontario Maple Producer!
So all of this leads up to what I brought for the swap meet. I wanted to bring something from Arkansas that was unique, but something many people wouldn’t think of being in Arkansas. More often than not, people are very surprised to find that Arkansas is the No.1 producer of rice in the U.S., producing 41% of the country’s rice crop! Much of Arkansas consists of Mississippi Delta land, making it prime rice land. Along with the rice and water, comes the ducks.
So here’s what I need you to do. I love to learn facts about agriculture across the country, and Canada too! So I want to reward you for learning about Ag in your area. I have some give-away prizes for anyone (up to 8) who writes a blog post about agriculture products from their state/area. Don’t have a blog? Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is Saturday night, September 3. Ya’ll get a whole week and a half to do this since I will be MIA next week in Colorado.
Describe some agriculture and food products from your area, give an idea of the size of the crop in your state, some background or history on the crop, and include photos! Make it a fun project for yourself and/or your kids. Learn about Agriculture in your area. What do you have to lose?
(Don’t forget my postcard project if you’re a person of fewer words!)