For most people the Holiday season is a magical time of year. Many families gather together to celebrate special holiday traditions. Without agriculture, many holiday traditions would not be possible including travel, food, candy, unwrapping presents and much more.
Last year holiday travel hit an all-time high with 112.5 million travelers headed to visit family and friends. Farmers play a large role in holiday travel because nearly 40% of corn is used to make ethanol. Corn is also used in many of our foods, sweeteners and beverages.
Mint is another crop grown in the United States that plays a special part in our Christmas traditions. Mint is used to give flavor to candy canes and other mint flavored treats. This year Americans will consume 1.76 billion candy canes.
Christmas dinner is one of the most common and beloved traditions that families and friends celebrate together. Livestock farmers provide the meat in our Christmas meals. Whether you have ham for dinner, bacon for breakfast or pigs in a blanket for an appetizer, pork producers play a large role in your holiday meals. An average of 318 million pounds of ham is consumed at Christmas time. In addition to pork, poultry farmers also contribute 22 million turkeys to Christmas dinner.
Leaving milk and cookies out for Santa is a tradition that many children enjoy. Dairy farmers play a large role by contributing enough milk for Santa. Approximately 137 million gallons of milk will be set out for him to drink.
Cotton is also used throughout the holiday season. Cotton can be used to make ugly sweaters, the stockings above the fireplace and the skirt around the tree. We also cannot forget about sheep farmers that provide wool hats, scarves and mittens to keep us warm.
Another Christmas tradition is decorating the Christmas tree. Tree farmers provide 25-30 million live Christmas trees per year. Trees are also used to make wrapping paper, and Americans will spend around $7million on gift wrap.
Luckey Farmers is proud to be able to support our local farmers that help make our holiday traditions possible.