Old war posters remind us the importance of agriculture

The State Archives of North Carolina tweeted out a series of World War I-era posters that were added to its digital collection this week and tagged the ag department in its tweets. The posters, from the N.C. Agricultural Extension Service, U.S. Food Administration and the National War Garden Commission, urged people to grow crops during war time. One poster went so far as to tell people it was their patriotic duty to grow crops for food, feed and fertility purposes. The poster states “Food and economic resources are as important as men and guns.”

The posters are a reminder that maintaining a safe, local food supply is a matter of national security and something that we can’t rely on other countries for.

This is something Commissioner Troxler often mentions when he speaks to groups. He talks about the critical need to preserve farmland. As proof, he often cites the fact that worldwide food demand is on the rise. As a matter of fact, the United Nations estimates that by the year 2050, farmers around the world will need to produce 70 percent more food to meet the needs of a population that will exceed 9 billion. To meet the demand for food, Troxler says we’re going to have to do more with our existing farmland. We’ll have to be more productive and take good care of our land and soil.

Facts:

  • In 1950, farmland accounted for 62 percent of the state’s land area. According to the Census of Agriculture, farm land accounted for only 27 percent of the state’s land area in 2007.
  • Between 1970 and 2010, the state lost 6.6 million acres of farmland (ranking third nationally).
  • The Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund has helped counties and nonprofit land conservation groups protect more than 6,000 acres of farm and forest land through conservation easements since 2005.

Next time you’re at the farmers market, be sure to thank a farmer for the important role they play in our national security.

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