Farmers around the state of Texas are being recognized this week for helping to grow the nation's food supply.
National Farm-City Week, which began Nov. 21 and ends Friday, commemorates U.S. food producers and seeks to recognize their efforts among the nation's urban citizens.
National Farm-City Week was recognized by a White House proclamation. The National Farm-City Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing links between farm families and urban residents, organized it.
The council provides local organizations with educational programs about people who grow their food.
"The National Farm-City Week is a time to remember the growers and ranchers - and all within the food production chain - who work to provide us with the food we have in this country and export throughout the world," Al Pell, chairman of the National Farm-City Council, said. "While it's important to honor them throughout the year, it's especially appropriate to remember their efforts in this week leading up to Thanksgiving."
Salvador Salinas, acting state conservationist of the U.S. Department of Agriclture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, said the honor would help people better appreciate the contributions of the state's numerous farmers.
"It is also a time for urban and rural residents to recognize the conservation efforts of Texas farmers and ranchers that provide clean air, more water, better water quality, and protect our valuable natural resources in Texas," Salinas said. "With 95 percent of our state being privately-owned, the majority of our state's natural resources are managed by private landowners.
"Their efforts to protect the soil, air, water, plants and animals on their land not only make a difference for them, but for all Texans."
Many of these farmers, ranchers and landowners work with the NRCS and their local soil and water conservation districts in a voluntary, cooperative partnership to develop confidential conservation plans, NFCC officials said.
These plans help the landowners meet their management goals to conserve, manage and care for their land, livestock and wildlife by making improvements to farm and ranchland, creating and restoring wetlands, and improving wildlife habitat and grazing lands.
For more information about protecting and improving the natural resources on private land, contact the NRCS at a local USDA Service Center or visit the Texas NRCS Web site at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.