Editorial: Agriculture is big business in Crenshaw Co.

Published 7:16 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2013

One-thousand, seven-hundred and fifty-seven jobs, $204.9 million – those are just a few of the impacts of agriculture, forestry and related industries in Crenshaw County.
Statistics show that agriculture is alive in this county and is one of the leading industry groups.
Poultry and egg production was the largest agricultural commodity, contributing 70.2 percent of the county’s total agricultural and forestry production, with roughly 80-85 poultry producers in the county.
There are three different types of poultry producers in the county – broiler houses, pullet house and breeder farms.
The second largest was cattle, which contributed 7.2 percent of the agricultural production, and corn was the third largest, contributing 0.4 percent.
With a total economy of $855.9 million in 2010, agriculture and forestry-related production accounts for nearly 25 percent of the county’s economy.
Other top industry groups include: manufacturing and real estate and rentals.
Agriculture and forestry also accounts for nearly 30 percent of the county’s employment.
Oftentimes, farming and farmers get a bad rap, because many do not fully understand that farming has an affect on everyone, directly and indirectly.
Agriculture feeds the ever-growing population and produces feed for livestock, bio-energy and even fibers for clothing.
In fact, it is predicted there will be 9 billion people worldwide by 2050, and increased agriculture production will be necessity to meet the increased demands for food, feed, fuel and fiber.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, an estimated 50 percent more food than is currently produced will be needed in order to feed the population by 2050.
A study released last year by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts that per capita food consumption, meaning calories per person per day, will increase from 2,770 kcal/person/day in 2005-07 to more than 3,000 kcal/person/day in 2050.
While farmers may not get the recognition they deserve, it’s easy to see how big an impact and how much of an impact they will continue to have on the county, state, nation and world.
Next time you see a farmer, tell him/her “thank you.”