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CommunityInterestACBeyondGAINESVILLE – Each year during the week before Thanksgiving agricultural producers join with urban residents to celebrate their mutual relationships. Farm-City Week, a national observance, also emphasizes the importance of domestic agricultural production for our quality of life as well as the availability of a safe, abundant domestic food supply.

Farmers and ranchers rely on essential partnerships with urban communities to supply, sell and deliver finished products across the country and around the world. Above all, consumer purchases sustain farm enterprise.

This year Farm-City Week is scheduled to extend from Nov. 18 through Nov. 24. Members of County Farm Bureaus and other volunteers throughout Florida will mark the occasion by holding public meal functions, sponsoring farm tours and conducting other activities that help educate non-farmers about contemporary agriculture.

Agricultural producers contribute more than food, fiber and renewable fuels. Good management of farm properties provides greenspace, maintains wildlife habitat, preserves freshwater recharge areas and controls invasive species. According to virtually all studies of property tax revenues and public services, rural dwellers help subsidize police and fire protection for urban residents. City residents receive far more than a dollar’s worth of public services for every dollar they pay in property tax; rural residents received far less than a dollar’s worth of services for every dollar they pay.

“Florida farmers and ranchers work hard to produce more than 280 commodities,” said John Hoblick, president of Florida Farm Bureau Federation. “They know that it takes many other partnerships to bring food to the family table. We celebrate the success of those partnerships during Farm-City Week. We also appreciate the efforts of so many volunteers around the state in planning and organizing Farm-City Week events.”

According to researchers at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, agriculture and related sectors generate an economic impact of $133 billion annually. This sector also employs more than 1.6 million workers in our state. Without question agriculture is a cornerstone of our material security.

Farm-City Week offers a way of reminding both agricultural producers and consumers that we depend upon each other for the stability of our way of life. It also gives all of us an opportunity to thank someone who helps make the bounty of our food supply possible.