State recognizes Agriculture Week

Published 9:16 am Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In conjunction with the 38th annual National Agriculture Week, Gov. Mark Dayton has deemed March 13-19 Minnesota Ag Week.

The designation is an effort to raise awareness of the positive and important contributions agriculture makes to Minnesota’s economy and its people. Tuesday is considered National Agriculture Day.

Nearly one in five jobs in the state are linked to agriculture, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. And according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, Minnesota agriculture generated $13.3 billion in farm income and $4.3 billion in exports in 2009.

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“I just think it’s a lack of awareness,” said Allen Sommerfeld, Minn. Department of Agriculture Communications Coordinator. “More and more people have disconnected from the farm.”

Sommerfeld explained the trend as a shift in population from rural to urban areas, which has been happening for at least four generations.

To spread good word about agriculture, the Minn. Department of Agriculture is kicking off a social media campaign, and Minnesota legislature is also considering a bill for new, commemorative license plates in recognition of farmers.

“A simple license plate can send a powerful message of support for Minnesota farmers,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President.”

Videos and and Internet posts of Ag Week can be seen at