Fewer than 3 percent of Americans work in farming. Yet, this sector of our workforce not only feeds our country, it also provides a wealth of grain and food exports that feed millions of people around the world. In fact, America's agriculture sector is so productive that Americans spend less for food, as a percentage of their total income, than do most other people around the world.
October 16 is World Food Day, a day set aside to call global attention to the need to alleviate hunger around the world. Here in America, it is a day to recognize the achievement of our agricultural productivity.
Thanks to our farmers and food makers, Americans can count on a consistent, affordable and safe food supply. But our farmers are so productive, in part, because they have access to scientific advances in agricultural biotechnology - seed varieties that have improved the productivity of our most important staple crops, such as corn and soybeans. For example, the average yields of GM corn varieties in 2010 were 30 percent higher than average corn yields prior to 1996 - the year GM varieties were first planted.