Celebrating agriculture during National Agriculture Week
Written by Nikki Newbrough, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
LINN COUNTY (KWWL) -
Have you ever stopped to think of where your food comes from? Hundreds of farmers across the state of Iowa have made it their livelihood to provide food for not only your dinner plate, but the world.
March 18-22 is National Agriculture Week. It's a time to reflect and celebrate what our farmers are doing.
Linn County farmer Jason Russell has farming in his blood.
"My grandfather moved up here from Mount. Vernon in 1956 and we have been farming cattle, hogs, corn, soybeans, and hay since then," said Russell.
Russell heads a hog operation near Monticello. He only employs a couple people outside the family, but believe it or not this farm employs many more people because of the production of hogs.
"That one hog worth of food can produce a tremendous amount of economic activity. Now if that food was raised in another state or another country we wouldn't have country we wouldn't have that economic activity and the jobs here," said Russell.
According to a study by Iowa State University, every hog raised is worth $1,000 in economic activity in the state.
"If you go to the genetics in producing the materials and the feed and everything for these hogs. Then you follow that right to the end use of the consumer in a grocery store or restaurant or that type of thing," said Russell.
Russell takes pride in his work, but keeping good neighborly relations is up there too.
"We donate pork to local charities and community events and we actually give pork to our close neighbors that might smell for hog manure or something once and a while trying to make them more part of the family."
The Russell family has received both the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award and the Iowa Pork Producer's Environmental Stewardship award this year.
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