Source: Texas Department of Agriculture
AUSTIN — When Super Bowl XLV kicks off Feb. 6 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, football fans may be surprised to know how agriculture plays into the gridiron game plan. From leather footballs to fan-favorite snacks, the big Bowl would not be as super without the products of farmers and ranchers.
Regardless of which team you root for on Super Bowl Sunday, the Texas Department of Agriculture encourages viewers to keep an eye out for the products of agriculture when the players start plowing the ball toward the end zone.
· Leather is used to make footballs and Texas leads the nation in cattle with more than 13 million head with an annual production value of about $6 billion.
· Texas produced 8 million bales of cotton in 2010, which is enough to make every person on earth a Super Bowl Championship T-shirt - and still have almost a billion shirts left over.
· Peanuts are a favorite snack at football games, and Texas produces more than 700 million pounds - enough to make 7 billion peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
· Hot dogs are a traditional favorite at football games and the Texas pork industry has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $250 million.
· Hot dogs also need hot dog buns. Texas growers produce an average 90 million bushels of wheat annually, enough to make more than 25 billion hot dog buns.
· Texas is a leading dairy state and produces enough milk each year to fill the massive Cowboys Stadium more than six times.
· A football field, including the end zones, is 360 feet long-by-160 feet wide and covers 1.3 acres. The entire Cowboys Stadium site covers 140 acres. By comparison, Texas encompasses 144 million acres of agricultural and rural land, more than any other state in the nation.
· In contrast, the combined areas of the two cities competing in this year’s Super Bowl is about 63,000 acres, and you could fit more than 2,500 of them within Texas’ borders. In fact, you could fit the entire states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin inside Texas more than two-and-a-half times, and still have 9 million acres left over.
· Cornstarch can be used to make a biodegradable plastic for drink cups, utensils and more. Texas growers produced 302 million bushels of corn in 2010.
· How better to celebrate a Super Bowl Championship than with a good steak dinner? Texas produces about 8 billion pounds of beef each year. That's the equivalent of 16 billion 8-ounce steaks or enough to supply 150 steaks to every person watching the game in the United States (according to Nielson estimates, last year's Super Bowl attracted 106.5 million U.S. viewers).