The Missouri Farm Bureau’s Thank a Farmer Week, which runs Feb. 7-13, will be the focus of Farm Bureau members across the state to share messages about agriculture and the farmers and ranchers who produce the state’s food.

“Agriculture is a big part of our community, yet many people simply take it for granted,” said Steve Scheer, county president. “Farmers and the agri-businesses that support them give back in many ways. They deserve a pat on the back.”

Scheer said the week is all about celebrating agriculture and all of the things it provides.

People buy most of their food from the grocery stores with shelves filled with so many choices for your daily meals. The crops and meat used to make those products are grown by farmers.

Also, what is grown on the farm is used for thousands of other uses, such as clothing, fuel, medicine, entertainment, sports, personal care and school supplies. These are just some items people use daily that start at the farm.

That is why agriculture is important to the local, state and national economy, the Farm Bureau said. It is a driving force of communities both rural and urban.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, innovation in agriculture allows one U.S. farmer to provide enough food and fiber for 168 people in the United States and abroad.

Consumers in this country now spend less than 10 percent of their disposable income on food, according to the USDA. That is less than any other country in the world.