America's farmers have been through a lot over the years. They have enjoyed booming harvests and suffered through the dust bowl and countless droughts. All the while, the American farmer has persevered. Even though it wasn't always easy, someone always took up the task of feeding our great nation.
The task isn't getting any easier
American farmers have worked tirelessly to make sure there was enough food for our tables. Our growing population continues to put pressure on farmers to do more with less. It should come as no surprise that American farmers have risen to the challenge. Thanks to productivity gains the average U.S. farmer fed 155 Americans last year. That's up from 115 in 1983, according to data from Monsanto (NYSE:MON). Even more incredible is that over that same timeframe Americans saw their cost of food drop from 13% of their income in 1983 to just 9% last year.
Looking ahead, American farmers will face even greater challenges. Surging global population, a rising middle class, and shrinking arable land means that over the next 50 years farmers must produce more food than they have in the last 10,000 years. American farmers will need to learn new technologies and use best practices to ensure our food supply is meeting our growing needs. Farmers will need all the help they can get in order to meet these challenges.
Ready for the next crop
Chrysler wants to ensure that the next generation of farmers is equipped meet these challenges and to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers to plant that next crop. That's why its Ram Truck brand is continuing its partnership with The National FFA Organization through "The Next Crop Project."
The project is a continuation of Ram's "Year of the Farmer" national campaign to promote all of the positive contributions of America's farmers. It's a campaign that featured the unforgettable Super Bowl commercial inspired by Paul Harvey's "God Made a Farmer" speech. For those who have yet to see the commercial, or simply want to see it again, just watch the following video.
An important aspect of the Next Crop Project is an event being held on Saturday, April 26, at more than 120 Ram Truck dealers across the country. Each test drive that day will earn a $20 donation to the FFA, which supports the next generation of America's farmers through education. In addition to that Ram has a webpage set up to promote the next generation of farming. It's an important move by Ram as it let's America's youngest farmers to know that its the truck that will be there for them throughout their lifetime as they meet the challenges of planting the next crop.
Food for thought
America's farmers have been there through the generations to ensure our nation has never gone hungry. We can easily forget the toil it took to put food on our table. We really do owe farmers a debt. While we can never begin to repay that debt, we can do something to show our support. For example, we can take a Ram truck out for a spin or support the local farmers market to ensure the next generation of farmers gets the support needed to continue to put food on our table each night.
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Matt DiLallo has options on Monsanto. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.