National Agriculture Day takes place on the first day of spring as a way to celebrate American agriculture and the farmers who help provide the food, fiber, shelter, energy and other materials we use on a daily basis.

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) is coordinating events in Washington, D.C. on March 11, 2008, to celebrate the importance of agriculture to America’s economy and society.

“Fewer than 2 percent of our population is directly involved in production agriculture,” said Gerald Tumbleson, ACA chairman and Minnesota farmer. “National Agriculture Day is a great time to create awareness of the significance that agriculture plays in our everyday lives.”

Several events kick off National Agriculture Week on March 11 in Washington D.C. At this year’s events various associations, corporations, universities and government agencies will gather in the nation’s capital for activities that include a meet-and-mingle luncheon at the Hart Senate office building and a National Celebration of Agriculture dinner at the Whitten Building patio.

Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa has been invited to speak at the luncheon, and Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer has been confirmed to speak at the dinner along with Pedro Sanchez, The Earth Institute at Columbia University and the CAST Charles A Black award winner.

In addition, there will also be an FFA Rally that afternoon.

“Through technological improvements, American agriculture continues to advance,” Tumbleson said. “Environmentally-friendly production practices, products and methods that help with U.S. security and innovations in efficiency are all examples we are proud of and want the general consumer to know too.”

The events in Washington are organized by the Agriculture Council of America, a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public’s awareness of agriculture’s role in modern society.

Each year, the National Ag Day program gathers members of the agricultural industry to promote American agriculture. Focused on sharing how agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and wear on a daily basis, the National Ag Day program helps educate millions of consumers each year.

Join the effort to promote American agriculture to everyone during National Ag Week, March 16-22. For more information contact the Agriculture Council of America at (913) 491-1895.