Farm Bureau first place essay: Tori Turk
by Tori Turk
March 23, 2014 12:46 AM | 11467 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Have you ever wondered where the food on your plate comes from? Well, if you take a close look at your meals, almost all of your everyday food choices can be grown and found right here in Georgia. Georgia and Cherokee County farmers all grow crops that help you to maintain a healthy diet easily. Georgian agriculture affects the health of its people and partial economic growth in Georgia as well.

A large portion of Georgia grown products make up a healthy diet. A “healthy diet” is simply a meal that contains fruits and/or vegetables, some form of dairy, a whole grain, a source of meat (for protein), and fluids to keep your body hydrated, such as water. It is important to have a healthy diet for many reasons. For one example, your diet controls your weight gain or loss; certain foods cause you to build up fat and gain weight, while some help you to lose it. Other examples of the necessity for a healthy diet would be that your lifespan and muscle growth depend upon it as well. You may think, “Well, I don’t need to alter my diet,” but, in fact, it is important for everyone to have a healthy diet.

Though all age groups should focus their dietary habits around healthy meals, it is absolutely essential for teenagers to do so. Teenagers, because they are at an age when their bodies are developing, must consume healthy foods so that they have the ability to continue to grow, to keep building a strong immune system, to obtain fuel for their bodies, and for mental health also. However, you may wonder what exactly makes up a healthy diet and how you can obtain the vital meals.

According to the U.S.D.A. (United States Department of Agriculture), there are certain food groups that must be present for the meal to be considered healthy. The five established food groups are fruits such as apples or barriers, vegetables such as corn or potatoes, protein such as poultry, grains such as wheat bread, and dairy such as milk or cheese. With all of these proportioned correctly for your meal, the healthy life will be all yours! But where can I get these healthy foods, you may ask? Well, surprising to most, nearly all of these can be found right here in Georgia.

Georgia farmers contribute quite a bit to the “healthy diet.” In fact, Georgian agriculture covers each of the five food groups with its own crops. For fruits, peaches, apples, and blueberries are grown. Cattle, goats, and hogs are raised to fulfill the protein section. Vegetables like corn and tomatoes are grown. Wheat, rye, and barley are harvested for grains, and milk and eggs are locally produced to make up the dairy portion of our healthy diet. Also, farmers specifically in Cherokee County grow these kinds of crops as well. Cattle and goats are raised while greens, corn, tomatoes, blueberries, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and parsley are grown to contribute to the produce harvested in Georgia.

Georgia’s agricultural department is largely relied upon in terms of economic value. Without this, the state’s economy would not be as good as it is today. For example, 71.1 billion dollars of the state’s money comes from its agriculture, seeing that it is its number one industry. Also, about one out of every seven people are employed through farm work. Also, Georgia is among the highest ranked states in agriculture.

Georgia is ranked highly among the nation in terms of agriculture. In fact, Georgia is the number one producer of peanuts, pecans, and rye in the entire United States. Georgia is the second leading producer of cotton, cotton seed, cucumbers, and onions for the nation and third leading producer of bell peppers, blueberries, cantaloupes, peaches, beans, and sweet corn.

In conclusion, we can eat healthy and support local farmers by simply consuming their crops. By doing so, the farmers continually make a profit to live off of and to grow more, while the citizens are introduced to a healthy diet that fulfills the five food groups of fruits, veggies, protein, dairy, and grains. Without Georgia farmers, these healthy and “home grown” meals would not be possible.

Tori Turk

Eighth grade,

Dean Rusk Middle School

Parents are father Mike Turk and mother Lynn Turk

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