Football season looks a little different this year due to COVID-19. But one thing that hasn’t changed—agriculture’s role.

The Lone Star State is a leader in cattle, cotton, sheep, goats and the number of farms and ranches. It makes sense then that football and agriculture would be on the same team.

The ball itself is a direct product of agriculture. NFL footballs are made from cowhides. Did you know: It takes just one cowhide to make 20 footballs.

What about the field? That’s agriculture, too. Turf grass is the most common playing surface in the NFL and in college. Some high schools also have turf fields. The grass is grown and cared for over several months before it’s put down. And it’s not just maintained during the season. Those fields are kept up all year long.

Of course, fans need food and refreshments, whether you’re watching the games in person or at home. And that, too, has agricultural ties.

From the hotdogs and nachos at the stadium to the chicken wings and potato chips at home, Texas farmers and ranchers are behind those fan favorite foods.

You also can’t forget the cotton t-shirts you wear in support of your favorite team. Texas is the top cotton-producing state in the nation. That’s a lot of shirts!

Although agriculture may not get much recognition, it’s a major player in football games. I’d even call it the MVP.

And as the season rolls on, despite the challenges due to COVID-19, agriculture will always be the unofficial sponsor of football in Texas.