We are celebrating National Ag Week here in Montana, and Evelyn Pyburn with The Big Sky Business Journal shared some very interesting numbers with us to kick off ag week.

She got some very interesting numbers from the Montana Farm Bureau Federation.

Pyburn: "They said that Americans spend $14 billion each year on holiday meals like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Independence Day. So that's a lot of food. But the Farm Bureau President Cyndi Johnson from Conrad- she pointed out that farmers are using less land than ever before while producing more products- food, feed, and fuel. And she said that 30 years ago it would have taken 100 million more acres to produce the same amount of products as the farmers are growing today."

As Evelyn pointed out, they are using more and more precision agriculture and sustainable methods for farming and grazing.

Pyburn: "Of the 11% of disposable income that Americans spend on food each year the dollars are split fairly evenly between food eaten at home and eating out dining out or takeout. On average, one US farm feeds 166 people annually, not only in the United States but around the world. Women make up 36% of the total number of US farm operators- I was quite surprised at that number. It's pretty dramatic. And 58% of all farms have at least one female decision maker. Montana continues to rank number one in the country in the production of chickpeas, dry edible peas, and lentils. The state ranks second for durum wheat."

Evelyn says she wasn't surprised to hear that we have more cows than people.

Pyburn: "As of January last year, there were 2,160,000 cows and calves in Montana. So that doubles the Montana population of people. Montana has 27,100 farms and ranches on 581 million acres of land, making Montana second just behind Texas as far as the number of acres and production."

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