This year’s theme for National Agriculture Day, Thursday, March 14, is particularly fitting — “Agriculture: Food for Life.” We all have to eat, so when it comes right down to it, few things are as important to the mere survival of the human race as agriculture.

Organized by the nonprofit Agriculture Council of America based in Kansas, National Ag Day is set aside to help educate the world about how food is grown and its role in Americans’ lives and the U.S. economy, and to highlight careers in this vital industry. This will mark the 46th anniversary of National Ag Day, celebrated in classrooms and communities nationwide.

On March 13-14, the ACA will host a gathering at the National Press Club and a Taste of Agriculture Celebration in Washington, D.C. They also will bring about 100 college students to town to deliver the message of Ag Day to the Hill. An Ag Day Essay Contest is planned.

The idea is to tell the true story of U.S. agriculture and remind citizens that agriculture is a part of all of us. Each of us needs to increase our understanding how food and fiber products are produced; better appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products; and realize agriculture’s essential role in maintaining a strong economy.

U.S. farmers are the best in the world, and Wisconsin producers are leaders in this effort. The state ranks among the most productive in the nation for dairy, potatoes, cranberries and more.

From all of us at The Country Today, a simple but heartfelt thank you for all that you do every day.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau and Wisconsin’s Ag in the Classroom Program are celebrating farmers and agriculturists through several activities this week. Here’s how you can participate:

• Nominate a farmer: Wisconsin residents can nominate someone who embodies the Ag Day theme of “Agriculture: Food for Life.” Nomination form can be found at bit.ly/NominateAFarmer19 and involve sharing a short essay about why this person embodies the theme. Finalists will be selected by the WFBF’s Promotion and Education Committee and featured on social media, with the winner being selected by popular vote on Facebook. The top three finalists will receive Culver’s coupons, and the winner also will get $50 to Blain’s Farm and Fleet.

• #WIAgProud social media campaign: To participate, download a sign from wfbf.com/national-ag-day and share a photo holding the sign on social media, explaining why you are proud to be a farmer or proud of the work that farmers do. Be sure to include #WIAgProud with your post. All participants will be entered into a drawing to receive a Culver’s gift card. Remember, only public posts will be considered.

• Farmers on Facebook Live: WFBF will host a live agricultural career panel on Facebook on March 14 targeted toward high school and college students who want to learn more about careers in agriculture. Follow WFBF on Facebook for details.

• Ag in the Classroom Reading Event. Celebrate by reading books about agriculture. The recommended book is the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom’s Book of the Year, “Fresh-Picked Poetry” by Michelle Schaub. The book is available for purchase at wiagclassroom.com. After the visit, participants are asked to complete a report form, available on the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom website, so outreach of the activities can be tabulated. Use #WiReadsAg2019 on social media to talk about National Ag Day and your reading activity.

• Youth contest: Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom is incorporating a thank-you to farmers with the annual youth contest. Students are asked to draw and color an entry that thanks Wisconsin farmers for providing food for life. Make a copy of the entry before submitting it. After judging is complete, contact information will be cut off and the thank-you notes given to farmers.

This contest is open to children ages 12 and under. The entry page and contest rules can be found by visiting bit.ly/AITCAgDay2019. All entries must be received or postmarked by March 31.

We’d like to add one more way you can mark National Ag Day: Thank a farmer or two who you know or who live nearby, whether in person or with a small note or gift. Involve your children or grandchildren in the effort.

This small gesture would mean more than you know.