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AUSTIN —Texas football teams may be watching from the sidelines, but there’s good chance Texas agriculture will take the field when Super Bowl XLIX kicks off Sunday, Feb. 1, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Whether you root for the Seattle Seahawks or New England Patriots, make sure you also cheer on the farmers and ranchers who make the Super Bowl on Sunday so Super.
“Agriculture matters in every aspect of our lives from the dinner table to the football field,” said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. “It’s not a team I’m routing for this year. I’m routing for agriculture to win big, as it’s the most vital part of our lives and a driving factor for the entire nation’s economy.”
Agriculture will play a big role in this weekend’s game. Here’s a snapshot of how agriculture will star in Super Bowl XLIX:
- -Footballs are made from leather, and in Texas, we lead the nation in cattle production with more than 11 million head generating an annual production value of more than $10 billion.
- -Texas produced 6 million bales of cotton in 2014, which is enough to make a Super Bowl Championship T-shirt for every person in the U.S., China, India, Russia, Mexico and Japan.
- -Peanuts are a favorite snack at football games, and here in Texas, we produced 489 million pounds in 2014. That’s enough to make more than 4.5 billion peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches or more than 900 million 8-ounce bags of roasted peanuts.
- -Hot dogs are a traditional favorite at football games, and in Texas, our pork industry has an annual statewide economic impact of $110 million.
- -Hot dogs also need hot dog buns. Texas growers produce an average 68 million bushels of wheat annually — that’s enough to make more than 10 billion hot dog buns.
- -How better to celebrate a Super Bowl Championship than with a good steak dinner? Texas produces about 7 billion pounds of beef each year. That’s the equivalent of 14 billion 8-ounce steaks or enough to supply 125 steaks to every person watching the game in the United States. According to Nielson estimates, last year’s Super Bowl attracted a record 111.5 million U.S. viewers.
- -Cornstarch can be used to make biodegradable plastic for drink cups, utensils and more. Texas growers produced almost 295 million bushels of corn in 2014.
- -A football field, including the end zones, is 360 feet long by 160 feet wide and covers 1.3 acres. By comparison, Texas is home to 144 million acres of agricultural and rural land — that’s more than any other state in the nation.
- -Although Arizona is considered to be a vast desert by most, the host state for this year’s game is ranked No. 13 in production of nursery and floriculture commodities, specifically sod/turf grass often used for football and other sporting event fields. By comparison, Texas’ horticultural industry is ranked third nationally and is valued at more than $1 billion with almost 900 production nurseries.