What to Read for National Agriculture Day

800px-Grain-field“For amber waves of grain” is my favorite lyric in the song America the Beautiful. I picture fields of honey-colored wheat, undulating in the mild breeze. Such imagery is a real thing in rural America. Those fabled farmlands of song have fed, clothed, and employed real people for generations. The agriculture industry, a linchpin of the American economy, remains competitively strong and significant today.

National Agriculture Day on March 15th recognizes the plentiful contributions of U.S. agriculture. To boost your knowledge of the essential role of agribusiness in our daily lives, check out these U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resources available from the GPO bookstore.

Running a Food Hub: A Business Operations Guide

001-000-04766-3This handy USDA report centers on decision points for food hub operators. What’s a food hub, you ask? It sources, aggregates, and distributes a wide array of local and regional food products. Food hubs can take on many different forms, from corporation to cooperative. Whichever way they legally and operationally organize, each has an assortment of logistics, regulations, and risks to consider.

Successful food hubs operate with the community in mind; many have a social-based mission. This guide certainly recognizes that. It includes tips on how to customize a service strategy, build in customer incentives, and chose a sale focus. Ultimately, food hubs can have “a tremendous impact on their producer-members by returning a percentage of food dollars spent.”

Read “Running a Food Hub” and grow your agribusiness acumen!

Agricultural Statistics 2014

9780160930393037USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service compiled this “reliable reference book” of data tables on agricultural “supplies, consumption, facilities, costs, and returns.” It’s fifteen chapters of estimates on field crops, livestock, forestry, horticulture, and other subcategories. Foreign trade data is also represented.

Big export staples like corn, cotton, wheat, potatoes, and soybeans have lots of stats on them. So, naturally, they have several data tables in this tome. Not quite the case for pickles, lima beans, inedible tallow, and pink pelts. Their part is small but vital in an industry that contributed $835 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service.

To wrap up, here are a few ag stats to impress your friends with:

  • In 2013, the U.S. produced over 97 billion eggs
  • In 2012, milk cows produced over 200 billion pounds of milk
  • In 2013, the value of U.S. cotton production exceeded 5 billion dollars.


Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


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