Hoeven Statement on National Agriculture Day 2016

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today delivered the following statement on the floor of the U.S. Senate to recognize and thank the nation’s farmers and ranchers on National Agriculture Day. The entire week of March 14 is National Agriculture Week:

“Today, on National Agriculture Day, I want to celebrate and thank America’s agriculture producers. That includes those in my home state of North Dakota, who provide us with the lowest cost, highest quality food supply – not just in the world, but in the history of the world.

“America’s grocery stores abound with fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Our dinner tables are able to offer our families a greater variety of nutritious, flavorful foods than ever before. They are a testament to the hard work, commitment, and innovation of our nation’s agricultural producers.

“Agriculture and ag-related industries are also an important part of the American economy, contributing $835 billion to our gross domestic product in 2014. Further, America’s food and agriculture sector provides jobs for 16 million people and contributes billions of dollars to the national economy. Agriculture also has a positive balance of trade, and produces a financial surplus for the country.

“I especially want to thank the men and women of North Dakota who farm and ranch. They have made agriculture North Dakota’s largest industry, with nearly $11 billion in sales last year. I am proud to say that North Dakota leads the nation in the production of 9 important commodities, and is first or second in 15. This includes half of all durum and spring wheat, more than 90 percent of the nation’s flax, and more than 85 percent of the nation’s canola.

“America’s farmers and ranchers work through drought and floods, crop disease, hail and other natural challenges year in and year out, yet they still get up every morning, put on their boots and go out to field and pasture for our country. Farming and ranching built America, and today they sustain it. On National Agriculture Day, we acknowledge the enormous debt of gratitude we ow them.”