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January is National Soup Month!

News Article from Susan Hill

January is the perfect month for soup!  Soup is a great menu item for lunches and dinners.

You can add different condensed soup over rice or noodles to make a quick and easy meal which takes no time at all.  There are so many varieties of soup, everyone is sure to enjoy something. Whether you enjoy the creamy varieties, condensed or chunky, they’ll make your mealtime enjoyable, especially with their low fat, reduced sodium and healthier versions.
Since it is National Soup Month there are some fun facts about soup, which to me was very interesting! Check some of these out.

Soup lovers across America consume more than 10 billion bowls of soup each year. On average, American consumers stock six cans of soup in their pantries at all times. Soup can even be used to refresh leftovers from a previous meal. Two cups of rice, pasta or mashed potatoes and a can of your favorite chunky style soup make a quick and easy dinner that’s ready in minutes and costs under $4.

The three most popular varieties of soups are chicken noodle, cream of mushroom, and tomato.   These varieties are among the top ten in grocery purchases every week.  Many soups are a ‘secret’ ingredient in a favorite recipe.  Some people believe that soup is the perfect weapon in weight loss because it gives a feeling of satiety with fewer calories.

Soup flavors have been inspired by almost every country around the world… From Mexican-style to Italian-style, soup is literally a cultural melting pot!  It is suggested that in the late 1700s, a French king was so enamored with himself that he had his royal chefs create a soup that would allow him to see his own reflection in the bowl. As a result, consommé (clear broth) was born.

Soup is a great, easy and cost-effective way to get a full serving of vegetables.  Soup is also a breakfast food in many cultures. In Japan, the day is started with a bowl of miso soup or fish broth with rice. In France, children traditionally eat leftover homemade soup before going to school. And, in any country, soup can take center-stage in delicious breakfast dishes like Egg Noodle Breakfast or Spinach Mushroom Frittata.

Frank Sinatra always asked for chicken and rice soup to be available to him in his dressing rooms before he went on stage. And, what a great idea that was! There’s nothing like a delicious, soothing bowl of soup to get you ready to do anything – even belting out a few tunes!

Although there is no official origin of the pairing of the grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup, government-issued cookbooks tell us that World War II U.S. Navy cooks broiled hundreds of “American cheese filling sandwiches” in ship’s kitchens. The tasty combination was economical, easy to make, and because tomato soup is packed with vitamin C, it met government nutrition standards.

 

Other interesting facts about soups are:

The colors of Campbell’s soup labels, red and white, come from the colors of the Cornell University football team.

In Nebraska, it is illegal for bar owners to sell beer unless they are brewing a pot of soup.

A 12th century physician named Moses Maimonides first prescribed chicken soup as a cold and asthma remedy. More recently, University of Nebraska researcher found that chicken soup may ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. So, when you’re fighting off a winter cold, simply enjoy a steaming-hot bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Soup etiquette reigns supreme in New Jersey, with a law in Ocean City, making it illegal to slurp soup.

Now we can see can see why January would be the perfect month for soup!

Cream of Potato Soup

1 ½ cups water

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

2 beef bouillon cubes

1 ½ cups unseasoned mashed potatoes

2 tablespoons corn-oil margarine

2 cups skim milk

½ teaspoon paprika, or to taste

Combine water, celery, and onions in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until mushy, about 30 minutes. Strain mixture (should make about 1 cup liquid). Add bouillon cubes to hot liquid and stir until dissolved. While liquid is still hot, pour it over potatoes in saucepan. Stir. Add the margarine, milk, and paprika. Warm over low heat, stirring constantly.

Makes 4 servings. One serving: 1 cup

One serving contains; 162 calories, 2 mg cholesterol; 548 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein, 6 g fat or 33% of total calories.

Note: To reduce sodium, use 3 teaspoons low-sodium beef bouillon in place of 2 regular bouillon cubes.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Food Safety Tips: Out with the Old and In with the New

By April Hill, Regional Extension Agent Food Safety and Quality

 

Reckless Thawing

OLD HABIT: More than one out of four Americans admit to thawing their frozen turkey or other main meat dish on the kitchen counter, in the oven or even under hot water in the kitchen sink.  Many people also forget to allow enough time for a large turkey to thaw completely.

NEW TRADITION: To prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, frozen meats should be thawed in the refrigerator. Or, if pressed for time, you can thaw a wrapped frozen turkey in a large pot of cold running water do not thaw in warm water in the sink. Or for smaller pieces of meat you can thaw it as you cook it or defrost in the microwave.  Remember a large 10-15 lb. turkey could take up to 3 days to thaw in the refrigerator.

Holding Out on Hot Stuff

Old Habit: Nearly four out of five home cooks think it’s necessary to wait until the foods cool completely before putting them in the refrigerator because it will cause the temperature to rise in the refrigerator.

New Tradition: When storing leftover foods in the refrigerator they should be cooled quickly or put in the refrigerator in less than 2hours.  To insure that foods will cool down in the refrigerator make sure you cut up meats and put larger containers of food in smaller more shallow pans.  Make sure your refrigerator is 41 degrees or lower and that your freezer is 0 degrees or less.

Covered Dish Delivery

Keep Hot Foods Hot and Cold Foods Cold

Old Habit: Three out of five holiday families typically travel for at least one hour with their homemade holiday dishes to a relative or friend’s home.

New Tradition: If it’s going to take more than an hour consider packing your cold dish in a cooler or hot dish in an insulated bag to keep it safe and bacteria-free.  Keep hot foods 140 degrees or hotter and cold foods 41 degrees or lower.

Rocking the Gravy Boat

Old Habit: While a majority of home cooks remember to bring gravy to a boil before serving it, many forget the same rule also applies during the encore presentation. In fact, more than half just reheat leftover gravy in the microwave until it’s hot before serving again.

New Tradition: In order to eliminate harmful bacteria, always bring leftover gravy to a boil on the stove before serving it a second or even third time around.  Always reheat foods to 165 degrees

Cooking all Night

Old Habit:  Many people prepare some of their foods like turkey, dressing and some casseroles during the night by turning the oven down to 250 degrees or lower so they will slowly cook.

New Tradition: Either cook the day before refrigerate and reheat to 165 degrees the day of the meal or cook two smaller turkeys at 325 degrees or go out for lunch.  Foods like turkey should not be cooked below 325 degrees because cooking any lower is adding flames to the fire of the already growing bacteria that is there.  Cook an unstuffed 8-10lb Turkey at 325 degrees in an oven cooking bag for 1 ½ to 2 ½ hrs.  It should be 180 degrees when measured with a thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh or breast.

Too Hurried to Clean

Old Habit:  Many people have lots of people or family in during the holidays and too many times we either have so many in the kitchen or visited the night before and did not take time to clean the kitchen well.

New Tradition:  Always try to clean counters and utensils well and wash your hands before and during the cooking process to prevent cross contamination.  Cooking ahead of time and freezing is a great option too to save time.  Make sure your helpers in the kitchen wash their hands often too.

Storing Foods on the Porch or in the Cold Garage

Old Habit: Many people like to store their pies, cakes and some meat on the porch or in the garage that is not insulated because of lack of storage space and you know great great great grandmother always did this.

New Tradition: Unless you live in Alaska this would not be a good idea because it would need to be 41 degrees or cooler to maintain what refrigerator temperatures would be.  Also animals could happen along and either eat or do something worse to your food.   Also great great great grandmother did not have the environment and additives we have today most of their food was raised on a farm and everything was fresh and more than likely her immune system was much stronger than most of ours today.

Toooooo Many Leftovers

Old Habit: Many people believe leftovers as long as they are kept in the refrigerator will last 7-10 days.

New Tradition: Foods not eaten within 3-4 days should be thrown away.  After 6 or 7 days or more do not feed to animals either.  Leftovers used within 4 days should be reheated to 165 degrees.

 ALWAYS WHEN IN DOUBT THROW IT OUT!!!!!

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

Holidays in December 2017

December is full of holidays.  December 1 is National Fried Pie Day.  Everyone loves fried apple pie.  Who knew frying a fruit and a bread would be so yummy.

December 3rd is National Peppermint Latte Day.  Aahh….the Latte, who can resist that pretty heart shaped, espresso and steamed milk goodness in a cup.  Its’ definition, the Italian café latte or ‘milk coffee’ is the beverage of all beverages for most folks.

December 4th is National Cookie Day.  Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, snickerdoodles, and peanut butter, the list is endless.  Our favorite snack dates back to its beginning in the 7th century.

December 5th is National Comfort Food Day.  Comfort food is food that provides a nostalgic or sentimental value to someone, and may be characterized by its high caloric nature, high carbohydrate level, or simple preparation.  What is your nostalgic or sentimental food or foods?  I have two favorites.  My first is my mom’s chocolate, chocolate, chocolate cake.  This is my birthday cake my mother has made for me as long as I can remember.  It’s great, no its Heaven on a plate!! How can anyone not like chocolate cake, and homemade chocolate icing with cherries and walnuts in-between each layer, yes and yes?  I’m sure there are at least 500 calories in a slice.  My second favorites is her homemade biscuits.  Have mercy!!  Another favorite was my grandmother Hood’s dressing at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my Grandmother Robbins’ homemade vegetable soup.  No one can match them.

Comfort foods are prepared as gifts, are prepared when people are sad, happy or just because.  Comfort foods were introduced to us in 1966.  The comfort food evolved due to emotions running high.  Individuals would turn to the food or foods they enjoyed most.  It is said that comfort foods almost are like a medicinal or therapeutic cure for stress.

So what are the chosen comfort above all foods?  In a survey the top five comfort foods are chicken Pot Pie, Chili, Chicken and Dumplings, Buttermilk Biscuits, and Mac& Cheese. It would be hard to list all of America’s favorite comfort.  Other countries have comfort foods too.  Canadians choose milk shakes, egg sandwiches, pea soup and waffles.  In Australia and New Zealand enjoy mutton and sausage and mash, while India likes porridge.  Comfort foods are everywhere.  What is your favorite comfort food?

December 6th is National Microwave Oven day.  The microwave discovered by accident, self- taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered a way to heat food safely with microwaves. The year was 1945.  I remember using the microwave oven for the first time.  I prepared a baked potato and didn’t wait for the potato to cool.  I really think it cooked my insides it was so hot.

December 7th is National Cotton Candy Day.  Cotton Candy!! That sugary mound of fluff!  Also known as fairy floss, cotton candy dates back to the 1400’s.  Dentist William Morrison and confectioner John C. Wharton are credited for the invention of machine-spun cotton candy in 1897.

December 8th is National Brownie Day.  Brownies, a cross between a cake and a cookie, were introduced to the United States in late 19th century.  So how did the brownie become a brownie?  Well there are several thought or myths about this.    Three myths that have gained popularity over the years, regarding the creation of the brownie. Myth number one is a chef accidentally added melted chocolate to biscuit dough.  Myth number two is a cook forgot to add flour to the batter. And three, a housewife did not have baking powder and improvised with this new treat.  The story tells that she was baking for guests and decided she would serve them these flattened cakes.  (nationaldaycalendar.com)  Either way myth or mistake it’s a yummy one.

December 9th is National Pastry Day.  Pastries are doughs rolled thinly to make delicious pies, tarts and quiches.  Pastries can be traced back as far as the ancient Mediterranean.  We know this pastry dough as Phyllo dough.  French and Italian introduced cream puffs, and eclairs, Napoleon’s favorite.  There are many pastries to choose from.  They are; short crust pastry – simplest and most common.  The Sweet crust pastry – similar to the short crust but sweeter.  The Flaky pastry – simple pastry that expands when cooked.  The Puff pastry – has many layers that cause it to puff when baked.  The Choux pastry – very light pastry that is often filled with cream or other fillings.  And the Phyllo pastry – paper-thin pastry dough that is used in many layers.

December 14th is National Biscuit and Gravy day.  If a person can learn to make biscuits and gravy, a simple meal, he or she will not ever be hungry.  Biscuits and gravy is a popular breakfast dish in the South. It consists of a doughy biscuit covered in sausage or sawmill gravy, made for the drippings of cooked pork sausage and flavored with black pepper.  The meal was introduced during the American Revolutionary War when food rations were very low.  The doughy biscuit meals was also popular in the south.  Plantation workers prepared the meal frequently due to cost and its abundance.

December 16th is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day.  Anything is good covered with chocolate.

December 17th is National Maple Syrup Day.  Let’s make waffles and pancakes for breakfast, or dinner.

December 19th is National Hard Candy Day and National Oatmeal Muffin Day.  My favorite candy is cinnamon.  My favorite muffin is chocolate chip.  What’s yours?

December 20th is National Sangria Day, December 21st is National French Fried Shrimp Day, December 22nd is National Date Nut Bread Day, and December 23 is National Bake Day.

December 24th is National Egg Nog Day.  Egg Nog is “The armored infantry was Santa Claus, the battle was our Christmas. What else for the elves to do on Christmas Eve but to let their hair down and drink a little eggnog.” ―Hiroshi Sakurazaka. We all know that famous holiday drink, the one sold in stores only during the length of November through December. It’s eggnog!(daysofhteyear.com)

December 25th is National Pumpkin Pie Day, December 26th is National Candy Cane Day, December 27th is National National Fruitcake Day, December 28th is National Box of Chocolates Day, December 29th is National Get on the Scales Day, now who really wants to do that?  December 30th is National Bacon Day, and December 31 is National Vinegar Day.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

December 4-H Newsletter

Check out the December 4-H Newsletter to see what’s coming up for Marion County 4-H’ers: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2017/12/December-2017-4-H-Newsletter.pdf 

Contact the Marion County Extension Office (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu for questions.

December 1st is National Fried Pie Day!

The month of December as we all know is most popular for Christmas.  But did you know there are other days that are important in the food world?  December first is National Fried Pie Day.  Who can resist the sweet, moist, warm wonderful fruit entangled with a crunchy, soft, yummy pastry?  Fried pies were introduced to most of us by our grandmothers.  They are the chefs of all chefs when comes to making fried pies.  The most popular is fried apple pies, my favorite, and the next choice is peach.  Now that I have made you want to run to the grocery store to make fried pies, where did they come from.  Who wanted a fried pie?

Fried apple pies were first introduced in McDonald’s in 1968, originally fried in lard.  Lard?  What is lard?  Lard is pig fat in both its rendered and unrendered forms. It is obtained from any part of the pig where there is a high proportion of adipose or fatty tissue.  I know reading the definition is really disgusting, but, it is the most important ingredient in the crust when making a fried pie.  The lard makes the crust flaky and light.  Though the lard makes the crust delicious, it is not used much anymore due to health issues.  Today most of our fried pies are prepared using other ingredient for a good fried pie crust.

Historically in the American South, fried pies were known as “Crab Lanterns”, a term that dates back to at least 1770, and may originate from crab apple pies that had slits for ventilation, thus resembling a lantern. New Hampshire fried pies were popular with U.S. president Franklin Pierce.   Can you imagine the taste of crab apple fried pies?  The tart taste would make your ears backward and your lips pucker.

FRIED PIE DOUGH

This pie dough is excellent for making fried piecrusts (like hot apple pies and turnovers), because it absorbs very little grease. If small turnovers or turnovers with pre-cooked filling (fruits or meats) are being made, they may be fried at a slightly higher temperature (375°F) but reduce heat if they brown too quickly. If uncooked filling (fruit only) is used or larger turnovers are being made, lower temperature to 360°F.

 

1 can (12-13 oz.) evaporated milk

1 egg, beaten

5 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup plus 1 teaspoon shortening

 

  1. Combine milk and egg, and set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening. Toss lightly with egg and milk mixture just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. Roll into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. When ready to use, roll pastry on a lightly floured board into 6 inch circles, 1/8 inch thick.
  5. Fill half of the circle with desired filling. Fold half of circle over filling to make half-moons or turnover shapes. A fold over turnover press can be used for perfect shapes.
  6. Deep fry in hot shortening or oil, approximately 365°F.
  7. Serve

 

FRIED PIES

1 can pie filling

Oil for frying

Powdered sugar

  1. Heat 3 to 4 inches oil in deep pan.
  2. Roll dough into 6 inch circle.
  3. Place 1 heaping tsp. pie filling in center of dough.
  4. Fold dough over; being careful not to tear dough;
  5. Seal and crimp edges securely.
  6. Fry in hot oil until dark golden brown, on both sides.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar

(Recipe cooks.com)

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

December 4th is National Cookie Day

Chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, snicker doodle cookies, ginger snaps, and the list goes on, ladidadii ladidadida.

Cookies are like the best snack food known to man, woman, child and sometimes special made pet cookies.  They are great.  My favorite is the ever faithful Oreo cookie and of course, a short glass of milk to properly dip your cookie.  Whatever your favorite cookie may be, one could ask, ‘where did the cookie come from’? Some will answer, ‘my granny made them’ or’ my mom’.

So where did the cookie originate?  Cookies appear to have their origins in 7th century AD Persia.  They spread to Europe through the Muslim conquest of Spain. By the 14th century, they were common in all levels of society throughout Europe, from royal cuisine to street vendors.  Cookies became known as and was made as a natural travel companion.  The most popular early cookies, which traveled especially well and became known on every continent by similar names, was the jumble, a relatively hard cookie made largely from nuts, sweetener, and water.

Cookies came to America through the Dutch in New Amsterdam in the late 1620s. The Dutch word “koekje” was Anglicized to “cookie” or cooky. The earliest reference to cookies in America is in 1703, when “The Dutch in New York provided…’in 1703…at a funeral, 800 cookies were served.

The most common modern cookie, given its style by the creaming of butter and sugar, was not common until the 18th century.

In most English-speaking countries outside North America, including the United Kingdom, the most common word for this type of treat is biscuit and the term cookie is often used to describe only certain types of biscuits. However, in many regions both terms are used.  In Scotland the term cookie is sometimes used to describe a plain bun.

Cookie Monster would be so proud.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

________________________________________

1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tablespoons)

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 1/4 cups sifted flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet morsels

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs.

Sift flour and measure out 2 1/4 cups

After measuring the sifted flour, sift again with remaining dry ingredients

Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar mixture.

Stir in vanilla and semi-sweet morsels.

Drop the cookie batter by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set and firm and lightly colored

Do not allow cookies to brown

Transfer to wire racks to cool

Store in an airtight container

Cookies may be wrapped well and frozen.

Printed from COOKS.COM

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

 

November 4-H Newsletter

4-H Horse Camp Participants

Check out the November 4-H Newsletter to see what’s coming up for Marion County 4-H’ers: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2017/11/November-2017-4-H-Newsletter.pdf

Contact the Marion County Extension Office (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu for questions.

Youth Council Meeting December 5th, 2017 5:30pm

 

Are you interested in Leadership? Come to our third Marion County 4-H Youth Council Meeting of the 2017-2018 4-H Club Year! This year’s Youth Council will plan upcoming 4-H events and activities, participate in Leadership activities, conduct community service projects, and brainstorm fun games/activities to include at this year’s 4-H County Round-Up in April! Youth Council members will serve as Marion County 4-H Ambassadors that promote 4-H in the schools and at local events.

DATE: Tuesday, December 5

TIME: 5:30pm

WHO: Any active Marion County 4-Her ages 9-18 or any youth that want to get more involved in Marion County 4-H. All are welcome!

WHERE: Winfield Community Center 400 Community St Winfield, AL 35594

COST: FREE

COMMUNITY SERVICE ITEMS: We would like for any youth council members to bring some items to donate to the Weldy Home for Girls if they feel led to do so. Here are some items they are in need of: Paper Towels, Toilet Paper, Kleenex, Napkins, Shaving Cream, and Razors.

WHY: A youth council member will serve as a Marion County 4-H Ambassador to promote 4-H in the schools and at local events. Youth will learn leadership skills, help plan county events, and help plan/participate in Community Service Activities. We will be doing some FUN Christmas food crafts at this meeting-you don’t want to miss it! Refreshments provided.
QUESTIONS: (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu

Marion County Extension Office Hours 7:30am-4:00pm Monday-Friday

Address: 372 7th Avenue SW Hamilton, AL 35570

4-H Agent, Rebecca Danley (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu

2017 4-H Sweet Potato Fundraiser

40 lb. box-$20 

Download ORDER Form: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2017/08/SweetPotatoFlyerHLE.pdf

Pre-orders only. Deadline to order is November 1st, 2017.  Make checks/money orders payable to Alabama 4-H Foundation when you place your order. Checks or money orders preferred. Pick-up from November 16-17 at the Marion County Extension Office 7th Avenue SW, Hamilton, AL 35570.

The 4-Her with the most sales will win a cash prize!

Drop by the Marion County Extension Office to place an order or you may mail your order to the Extension Office (payment in the mail by October 27th).

For more information call or email the 4-H Agent at (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu . Office Hours Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:00pm Address: 372 7th Avenue SW Hamilton, AL 35570.

All proceeds go toward educational programming for 4-H in-school clubs and 4-H Events (RiverKids, Shooting Sports, Pet Show, Etc.).  

 

2017 Farm City Poster, Essay, and Multimedia Contest

Marion County Rules: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2017/08/Combined-Rules-1.pdf

State Rules: http://alabamafarmcity.org/

County Prizes Provided by the Marion County ALFA Farmer’s Federation

1st Place $50.00

2nd Place $25.00

3rd Place $15.00

**ALL submissions must be made to the Marion County Extension Office by October 31st, 2017. The Marion County Farm City Committee will select the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. 1st Place work will be submitted by the Marion County Committee for state submission. **

DUE: October 31st, 2017 to the Marion County Extension Office.

The Alabama Farm-City Committee is excited once again to offer a Multimedia Contest, Poster Contest and Essay Contest to Marion County Youth. The contest is sponsored by Alabama Farmers Cooperative and complements the Farm-City poster and essay contests by providing students another channel to express their creativity. The 2017 theme for all three contests is “Agriculture: Food for Life.” The 2017 National Ag Day and Farm-City Week theme of “Agriculture: Food for Life” captures the essence of farming. No other industry or activity is more connected to “life” than agriculture. Farmers produce the grains, protein, fruit, vegetables, nuts and dairy products that sustain life. The food we eat is literally fuel for our bodies. Without it, life would be unsustainable. But agriculture is intertwined to “life” in other ways, too. Private farms and forestland provide habitat and food for wildlife, and support the lives of all nature’s creatures. Through conservation and environmental stewardship, farmers protect the life-giving water, air and soil on which we all depend. Life, however, is not merely a physical existence. It’s also emotional and spiritual experiences, working together to provide a healthy, well-balanced life for Earth’s inhabitants. Agriculture provides food for the “lifestyles” we enjoy because modern farming and forestry practices allow 99 percent of Americans to pursue other occupations, hobbies and volunteer activities. Without farmers providing “food for life,” our economy and culture would suffer. Food is essential. Out of necessity, people would forego science, art and other pursuits if they were forced to gather or hunt their own food. In this way, agriculture is foundational to civilization. Still, agriculture’s contributions to life continue to expand. Through biotechnology, farming is improving life around the world. Disease- and drought-resistant plants provide “food for life” in some of the poorest regions on the planet. Improved plant and animal breeding addresses nutritional and human health needs. Farms and forests generate alternative energy sources. And agricultural products are utilized every day in not only food, but also pharmaceuticals, textiles and industrial applications. Agriculture touches every aspect of our lives. From the clothes we wear and the food we eat, to the homes where we live and the cars we drive, agriculture and forest products are ever present. Farmers help conserve the resources we need and the nature we enjoy. As we celebrate National Ag Day and Farm-City Week, it’s a great opportunity to remember the diversity of “Agriculture: Food for Life.”

 

Call or email the 4-H Agent with any questions regarding this contest. (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu Office Hours 7:30am-12:00pm 12:30pm-4:00pm Monday-Friday