Articles

August 2008
The Business of Farming

Pictured above are the Alabama FFA Association advisors and members that could make the scheduled photograph for our state association at the 2005 National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

Welcome to the second edition of the FFA Sentinel. I wanted to inform the readers of the happenings at the 2005 National FFA Convention this past October 26 - 29, 2005 in this issue.

The National Convention was held in Louisville, Kentucky for the last year under this contract. Next year’s convention will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as the subsequent four years. The Alabama Association was well represented at this year’s convention with over 500 advisors, members, and guests from our state present along with the over 51,000 other convention attendees.

 
The 2005 National FFA Convention delegates from the Alabama FFA Association. Front Row (L-R): Brittany Beasley - Gaston, Joanna Stewart - Woodland, Brooke Head - Marbury, Kimberly Henderson - Enterprise; Back Row (L-R): Jonathon Martin - Gaston, Karen Baggett - Moulton, Jared Beasley - Gaston, Matt Wilson - Jacksonville, Jordan Hamilton - Sand Rock, Katie Gann - Cherokee, Caleb Colquitt - Marbury.
 
The Alabama Association had eleven delegates participating in business sessions, twelve chapters competing in various career development events, nine members competing in the national proficiency program, one National FFA Officer candidate, thirteen American FFA Degree recipients, one Honorary American FFA Degree recipient, three members participating in the National FFA Chorus and Band, six chapters participating in the talent program, and eight chapters competing in the national chapter award program.

Chip Blanton, Agriscience Teacher at Fort Payne, received his Honorary American FFA

Degree for his accomplishments in the organization. Herbert Trulove, Agriscience Teacher at Red Bay, was recognized for providing talent for the National FFA Convention with his chapter’s quartets and string bands over the past 16 consecutive years.

The FFA is the youth organization for students enrolled in agriscience education. The FFA represents the largest industry in America - Agriculture. Many people may not realize the impact of Agriculture in America. (To learn some general agricultural statistics about American agriculture see the chart at right.)

To find out more about our organization, please visit the following websites: The National FFA Organization: www.ffa.org; The Alabama FFA Association: www.alabamaffa.org.

Jacob Davis is the Executive Secretary of the Alabama FFA Association.

General Agricultural Statistics


Average Annual Employment Opportunities for College Graduates in the Food and Agricultural Sciences in the United States, 1995-2000:
•    Marketing, Merchandising and Sales Representatives - 14,353
•    Scientists, Engineers and Related Specialists - 13,922
•    Managers and Financial Specialists - 5,613
•    Communication and Education Specialists - 5,295
•    Social Service Professionals - 4,862
•    Agricultural Production Specialists - 3,873

Today’s Farm
•    Agriculture is the nation’s largest employer with more than 22 million people working in some phase - from growing food and fiber to selling it at the supermarket.
•    There are 2.19 million farms in the United States. The average size of the U.S. farms in 1999 was 432 acres.
•    There are 165,102 farms operated by women in the United States.
•    Individuals, family partnerships or family corporations own 99% of U.S. farms with fewer than 10 stockholders. Non-family corporations own only 0.4% of America’s farms and ranches.

Consumers
•    Americans spend 10.9% of their income on food, the lowest percentage in the world. India spends 51.3%, Mexico spends 24.5%, South Africa spends 27.5%, Japan spends 17.6%, Italy spends 17.2% and the UK spends 11.2%.
•    It takes about 40 days for most Americans to earn enough money to pay for their food supply for the entire year. It takes that same American 124 days to earn enough money to pay federal, state and local taxes for the year.
•    The annual per capita consumption of Americans is: 204.5 pounds of milk, 196.8 pounds of flour and cereal products, 186.5 pounds of fresh vegetables, 131.8 pounds of fresh fruits, 115.6 pounds of red meat, 65 pounds of poultry, 65.3 pounds of fats and oils, 28 pounds of cheese, 18.9 pounds of rice and 244 eggs.

International
•    The United States provides food at a lower cost, as a percentage of income, than any other country in the world. We produce sufficient surplus to be the nation’s leading exporter.
•    The United States produces 46% of the world’s soybeans, 41% of the world’s corn, 20.5% of the world’s cotton and 13% of the world’s wheat.
•    The United States exports $49.1 billion in agricultural products annually and imports $37.5 billion. Asia (not including Japan, China or East Asia) imports the most ($10.5 billion) and Russia imports the least ($.46 billion).

Economy

•    The American farmer regains 20 cents of every dollar in agricultural products sold, 39 cents goes to labor, 6 cents goes to taxes and interest, 8.5 cents goes to packaging and the remainder goes to fuel, electricity, transportation, advertising, etc.
•    Farm receipts total $208.2 billion dollars each year; the most is meat animals ($46,917,000), least is tobacco ($2,308,000).

Technology and Environment
•    A growing number of farmers and ranchers are using computers and modern technology; 90.7% use a computer, 87.4% own a cellular phone, 51.3% communicate by fax, 72.2% have access to the Internet and 24.5% make online purchases using e-commerce.
•    As of May 2000, farmers enrolled 31.4 million acres of their land in the Conservation Reserve Program to protect the environment and provide habitat for wildlife. Farmers and ranchers provide food and habitat for 75% of the nation’s wildlife.
•    Erosion rate by water on U.S. croplands has been reduced by 24% in the last 18 years.
•    Only 2 labor hours and one acre of land is required to produce 100 bushels of corn, with farmer using a tractor, 5-bottom plow, 25-foot plow, 25-foot tandem disc, planter, 25-foot herbicide applicator, 15-foot self-propelled combine and trucks.

*All information gathered from the American Farm Bureau Federation, “Farm Facts” booklet, updated 2000.


 2006 FFA Events to Remember:
 State Market Hog Show
January 14, 2006
Teague Arena at the Garrett Coliseum
Montgomery

National FFA Week

February 19-26, 2006

Tri-States Beef Cattle Expo
Feb 28, - March 1, 2006
Dothan

North Alabama Junior Beef Expo
March 3 - 4, 2006
Cullman

Tennessee Valley Junior Beef Expo
March 3-4, 2006
Huntsville

West Central Alabama Junior Beef Expo
March 8 - 9, 2006
Montgomery

Alabama Junior Livestock Beef Expo
March 9 - 12, 2006
Montgomery
South District FFA Eliminations
April 21, 2006
LBW Community College -
Andalusia Campus

Central District FFA Eliminations
April 28, 2006
Montevallo University - Montevallo
 North District FFA Eliminations
April 28, 2006
Wallace Community College -
Hanceville

State FFA CDE Competitions
May 30, 2006
Auburn University & Surrounding Area

District & State 4-H/FFA
Dairy Judging Contest
May 30, 2006
Shorter

Alabama FFA Convention
May 31, - June 2, 2006
Auburn University Student Activities Building

South Alabama Market Hog Show
June 12 - 13, 2006
Dothan

Alabama National Fair
October 6 - 15, 2006
Montgomery
 

(To see further information about youth animal science activities in Alabama, go to the following website: http://www.aces.edu/~rebert/. This link will take you to the web page for Bob Ebert, Extension Livestock Specialist, with the Auburn Extension Service.)