Today the world’s population reached 7 billion. It is crazy to think that in my short lifetime (23) years, the population of the world has grown by more than 1 billion people. (See how many people were on the earth when you were born.
) As the population continues to grow, food is top of mind for scholars, doctors and farmers alike.
Paul R. Ehrlich a biologist and population professor for Bing
believes that food is of large concern with the growing population. In fact in his story 7 Big Problems for 7 Billion People,
Ehrlich lists "Food Shortage" as No. 1. "Seven billion is already facing us with horrendous problems, including almost 1 billion people hungry and contributing greatly to the chances of catastrophic climate disruption," he wrote.
Dr. Eric Tayag, of the Philippines' Department of Health, told MSNBC that the baby born in the Philippines this morning, symbolic of the 7 billionth person living on earth, should really raise some concerns for the world and one of those is food. "We should really focus on the question of whether there will be food, clean water, shelter, education and a decent life for every child," he said. "If the answer is 'no,' it would be better for people to look at easing this population explosion."
Feeding the world is always on the forefront for farmers and they have proven that they are up for the challenge. Throughout the past century agriculture’s productivity has increase substantially. In 1970, one farmer could feed 73 people and today one farmer feeds 155 people. Since 1960, the milk produced from one cow has increase from 664 gallons, to 2275 gallons per year on average. Corn produced per acre has risen from 39 bushels to 153 bushels per acre and pork production has doubled from 11.6 million lbs to 23 million lbs. Agricutlure’s productivity will have to increase approx. 76% to feed the 9 billion people expected to inhabit the Earth in 2050, will farmers be able to do it?
I believe that farmers will only be able to feed the world if we allow them to. In my opinion, farmers and ranchers are over regulated and under supported. While they are the life blood of rural communities and cities alike, many Americans don’t do all they can to support them. Whether voting in favor of policies and laws that allow farmers across the country to safely and efficiently produce food, or by merely pulling over to let a tractor pass when driving down a rural black top, we must do all we can to allow farmers to be the back bone of this country.
It is our right and our privilege to protect America’s freedom to farm because after all, without farmers where would we be?