October 15th 2014
From the beginning, Thanksgiving has been about friends and family celebrating a plentiful harvest and the abundance of food. As families gather together this month to enjoy a meal and reflect on the many things in life to be thankful for, we at AgSolver encourage Americans to think of the farmers, ranchers, producers and growers who dedicate their lives to putting food on our tables each and every day – not just on Thanksgiving.
Did you know just one U.S. farmer will produce enough food to feed 155 people? In addition, the U.S. is the world-leading producer of more than 50 important foods, according to AgWeb.
Generation after generation, farmers’ hard work and readiness to integrate new methods, technology, and ideas has made growing everything from corn to cattle increasingly productive. Because of these men and women, food is abundant, safe and affordable to purchase – giving families across America the flexibility to spend time and money on other parts of our economy.
This month especially, we would like to honor the men, women, families and communities that work to provide enough food to sustain our nation and other parts of the world. Join all of us at AgSolver in reaching out to a local farmer this month to say thank you.
Check out these numbers to learn more about food consumption and production in the United States on Thanksgiving Day and beyond!
In combination with Christmas, Thanksgiving accounts for 31 percent of annual turkey consumption, according to the United State Census Bureau. In 2011, 51 million turkeys were consumed on Thanksgiving Day alone2!
According to the Iowa Turkey Federation, more than 248 million turkeys were raised in the United States in 2011. This number signifies a nearly 110 percent increase from 19703.
Did you know Iowa ranks No. 9 in U.S. turkey production3? This includes 130 turkey farms, which raise 11 million turkeys annually3.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 40 billion pounds of milk were consumed in 2005.
Healthy cows produce more milk, and thanks to developments made by dairy farmers and nutritionists, a cow today produces as much eight gallons of milk each day. That’s as much milk as 100 cows used to, according to Dedicated to Dairy.
According to the USDA, the top five states for milk production include:
In 2012, Iowa cows produced 4.43 billion pounds of milk, accounting for $849 million in cash receipts, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
And what is apple pie without ice cream? Iowa is No. 4 in the nation in ice cream production, according to the Iowa State Dairy Association.
According to Farmers Feed Us, the average person consumes around seven gallons of soybean oil every year. Soybean oil is found in items such as your favorite dressings, soy sauce and margarine9.
Soybeans are the second-most popular crop in the United States, with farmers in more than 30 states growing them9. The soybean produced by these farmers account for 46 percent of the world’s soybean production9.
Iowa ranks first in the nation in the soybean production, harvesting 9.31 million acres of soybeans in 20127.
Pork is the most widely consumed meat in the world, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, with people eating many different products including pork chops, bacon, sausage and ham. Often eaten alongside or in place of a turkey, spiral hams have grown in popularity on Thanksgiving, with ham sales being the strongest during holiday months, including December, April and November, according to the Pork Checkoff.
According to the National Pork Producers Council, nearly 21 billion pounds of pork were processed from about 110 million hogs in 2011.
Iowa is the No. 1 pork producing state in the U.S., with nearly one-third of the nation’s hogs being raised in Iowa, according to the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Hog farming represents $7.5 billion in total economic activity for Iowa13.
1. "Farming Matters!" AgWeb. Farmers Feeding the World. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. http://www.agweb.com/farmersfeedingtheworld/farming_matters.aspx
2. “Facts for Features: Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 24, 2011.” United States Census Bureau. 24 Nov. 2011. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. https://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb11-ff21.html
3. "Our Industry." Iowa Turkey Federation. 2012. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. http://iowaturkey.org/industry/
4. "Fluid Milk Consumption in the United States." United States Department of Agriculture (2011). Sept. 2011. Web. 6 Oct. 2014. http://ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12355000/pdf/DBrief/3_milk_consumption_0506.pdf
5. "Our Cows." Dedicated to Dairy. The Southeast Dairy Industry Association. Web. 6 Oct. 2014. http://www.southeastdairy.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Our%20Cows%20Infographic.jpg
6. Dairy." United States Department of Agriculture. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/animal-products/dairy/background.aspx#.VDLt_LywLPZ
7. "Iowa Agriculture Quick Facts." Iowa Department of Agriculture. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/quickfacts.asp
8. "Facts & Industry Links." Iowa State Dairy Association. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. http://www.iowadairy.org/index.php/facts-industry-links/
9. "Iowa Soybean Farmer." Farmers Feed US. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. http://www.farmersfeedus.org/ia/soybeans/4
10. "Pork Production." Environmental Protection Agency. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/ag101/printpork.html
11. "Ham Trends." Pork Retail. Pork Checkoff. Web. 6 Oct. 2014. http://www.porkretail.org/filelibrary/Retail/HamTrends.pdf
12. "Pork Facts." National Pork Producers Council. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. http://www.nppc.org/pork-facts/
13. "Iowa Pork Facts." Iowa Pork Producers Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014. http://www.iowapork.org/News/872/iowaporkfacts.aspx#.VDLxhbywLPZ