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CCFB News» October 2021

Downwind"Ag Literacy- Pillar 2"

10/01/2021 @ 9:05 am | By Bob Rohrer CAE, FBCM, Manager

Way back in June, I was sorting and tossing old files of paper and I ran across an American Farm Bureau Federation Foundation for Agriculture document entitled: Pillars of Agricultural Literacy – Understanding the intersection between agriculture and society. Many times, that intersection is at the Cook County Farm Bureau through this Co-Operator publication.



Last month, I shared comments about the first pillar shown above (accessible at


Now On to Pillar 2: The Relationship between Agriculture and Food, Fiber and Energy


Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (finally, I get to use my psychology 101 class). So simple. At our most basic level:


  • Humans need food to live. Over 98% of Americans do not grow nor raise their own food to continue living.
  • Humans need clothing. Fiber in the form of cotton, wool, hemp, and other forms come from agriculture.
  • Humans rely on energy to stay warm and for transportation.


Agriculture provides all of these basics and beyond!


Beyond the basics, we want:


  • Our food to be safe, nutritious, and tasty
  • Our clothing to be attractive, comfortable, and affordable
  • Our energy to be inexpensive, reliable, and renewable fuel sources for home, cars, and trucks


Food in the United States is the safest in the world because:


  • The care and concern of farmers
  • The rules and regulations on food production
  • The EPA, USDA, FDA, customs police, and government food inspectors
  • Quality refrigeration and storage
  • Homeowner knowledge on sanitation and food preparation


At our beck and call, today’s modern supply chain, distribution system, labeling/packaging, food preparation, and storage delivering fresh and healthy food. Food supply and food choice are a true gift in the United States thanks to the American farmer and supporting cast. Whatever your food interest is, conventional, nutritious, organic, plant-based, Keto, Atkins, or whatever, your choice is almost always available without a lot of effort. (Check out page 6 of this publication for two banners our Ag Literacy Team developed to help school lunch users gain insight on the supply chain… Good stuff!)


It is a fantastic time to be a foodie! (Are people who enjoy the finer things in food still called foodies?)


Wonderful garments and clothes start on the farm as wool, cotton, industrial hemp, and other fibers. I’m going to begin calling people who love the finer things in clothing a “clothie”.


Renewable fuels from the farm are moving my fellow Americans and me around this great country. Feel free to call me a “fuelie” (someone who loves using ethanol and biodiesel fuel). Better than calling me a “gaslie”.


Today, Americans have moved beyond self-production of food, fiber, and fuel and are instead in need of those provided by farmers and the supply chain. Always remember the care and dedication that originates on the farm that goes into food on the table, clothing on our backs, and fuel for our cars.


Farm, food, fiber, energy, and people…what a great intersection!

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