Northey encourages Iowans to recognize National Agricultural Week - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Northey encourages Iowans to recognize National Agricultural Week

DES MOINES (KWWL)-- Iowa Secretary of Agricultural Bill Northey wants to acknowledge farmers across the state for their work they do across the state.

March 15- 21 is National Agricultural Week. Ag Day will be celebrated at the Iowa Capitol on Wednesday, March 18.

"This is an excellent opportunity to recognize the dedication of Iowa farmers and all involved in agriculture," Northey said. "Agriculture week is an occasion for all Iowans to discover the contributions agriculture has made to the Iowa economy and the state's quality of life."

National Agriculture Week is designed to increase awareness of the impact U.S agriculture has on the national and global economies. Iowa's rich soil and vast landscape has made Iowa one of the most productive areas for food and livestock production in the world for centuries.

Agriculture production contributes over $20 billion to Iowa annually, the majority of which comes from crop production and the livestock industry. This does not include the amount brought in by other agricultural industries, agritourism for instance, which went from $3.4 million in 2002 to $12.7 million in 2007. More information about agriculture's contribution to Iowa's economy can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's web site at <>.

In addition, farmers remain committed to preserving Iowa's natural resources-water, air and soil-by using environmentally friendly practices like no-till farming, contour farming, strip cropping, terraces, and other conservation practices that have reduced soil erosion and helped protect water quality. During the first half of 2008 alone, the Department's Division of Soil Conservation helped install practices that will reduce soil loss by 21,310 tons per year. This would equate to a two inch layer of dirt covering all four lanes of I35 from the Missouri to Minnesota border.

"Despite the slow start to the harvest season and flood damage we faced this year, Iowa still lead the nation in corn and soybean production," Northey said. "More importantly, everyone came together to lend a hand to face a difficult situation. I'm touched how Iowans are always there for each other, Agriculture week is a time to celebrate the hard work by all."


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