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A celebration for all

Wisconsin-grown fruits and vegetables add color, nutrients and flavor to any recipe.

Each Fourth of July, homes are beautifully decorated with American flags and patriotic decor. People wear red, white and blue outfits to gather with family and friends. Fireworks fill night skies with dazzling displays of color. Among all the traditions we have to celebrate this national holiday, some of our most memorable customs focus on food.

Wisconsin ranks third in the nation for potato production.

Growing up, my family always used Wisconsin fruits and vegetables to add color on the Fourth. With the holiday conveniently landing between strawberry and cherry season, bold red fruits are always available to brighten breakfast, snacks and dessert. Lunch after a hometown parade would not be the same without buttery Wisconsin potatoes and onions on the grill. Are there any Wisconsin fruit and vegetable staples for your celebrations?

While the Fourth is an American holiday, I often find myself thinking about other nations across the globe. I am amazed Wisconsin farmers can provide safe, wholesome food for not only our state’s residents, but also people around the world. Wisconsin agriculture is known for the quantity and quality of its products that we enjoy every day. The value of Wisconsin’s agricultural exports increased more than three percent in 2017, according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. In fact, Wisconsin currently ranks 12th nationally in agricultural exports.

While we are America’s Dairyland, our state stands out in all areas of agriculture. Among Wisconsin’s top five agricultural exports are prepared vegetables and fruits. Wisconsin’s farms and agribusinesses sell their goods to nearly 150 countries around the world, giving millions of people options for adding color and flavor to their daily routine. As farmers continue to be more efficient and productive, we find new domestic and international markets for those quality agricultural products.

Fourth of July decorations, outfits, and fireworks may be American customs, but people can celebrate with us worldwide by enjoying Wisconsin-grown products. My favorite adornment on tables will be brightly colored fruits and vegetables that are packed with nutrients to help us enjoy the holiday for years to come.

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