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Farming keeps us healthy

Tuesday was National Agriculture Day and an opportunity to say thank you to farmers throughout the country and especially right here in Lafayette County.

Local farmers provide for residents through locally purchased crops, whether they head out to the farm for fresh goods or buy at a farmers’ market set up throughout the year. Oxford’s school system also has an initiative to work with more farmers and get fresh foods into the bellies of kids.

It’s reaching the children that is especially important because it sets the tone for the rest of their lives not only about how to eat properly, but also to have knowledge and respect for where that food comes from. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday in the second-ever Farm to School Census that in the 2013-2014 school year, the U.S. purchased $789 million from local farmers. That was a 105 percent increase from when the first survey was utilized.

Less than one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans are responsible for growing 85 percent of the food on tables in the U.S. We thank those farmers who make this the land of opportunity and one of great wealth in comparison to so many others. We are blessed.