On March 15th the Agriculture Council of America celebrated Ag Day 2011 by naming winners of its essay and video contests. The theme this year was American Agriculture: Your Food. Your Farmer.

The winning essayist was Nora Faris, a 9th-grader from Concordia, Mo., whose essay on “America’s Most Valuable People” contrasted who the public deems as “valuable” such as celebrities, and who “should” be deemed as valuable – those who work in agriculture to provide safe and abundant food.  

Said Faris in her essay: “Then it occurs to me: America’s “Most Valuable People” aren’t found on magazine covers. Rather, they are found in farm fields, feed stores, and livestock barns. They are American farmers, a group whose labors, although largely unrecognized, are vital to the lives of all U.S. citizens – or at least the ones that eat.”

11th grader Kyle Trevino from Madera, Calif. had the winning video set in the grape fields of California. What I especially liked was his closer: “I’m Kyle Trevino and I’m proud to be an American farmer, and I’d like to say thank you to all the other farmers out there.”

We have a lot of potential with our youth who are involved in the agriculture industry. They have such a knack for talking about livestock and farming with no pretense, no big words and no apologies. They are proud of their families and their farms and their contributions to feeding and clothing the world.

I’d like to thank Nora and Kyle for their great job and their winning entries. I think we’ve just found “America’s Most Valuable People”.

For more information on Ag Day and the Agriculture Council of America, click here.