By Shelby Shank

Have you ever thought about what agriculture and baseball, aka America’s favorite pastime, have in common?

From the peanuts in your hand to the leather of a glove, agriculture makes up baseball.

Uniforms and shoelaces are made from a blend of cotton and other fibers, and Texas farmers proudly grow the fabric of our lives. In fact, the Lone Star State is home to the largest cotton patch in the country on the Texas High Plains.

Baseball gloves are made of cowhide, and one cowhide can make about 12 baseball glove, highlighting the pivotal role ranchers play in providing players their gear.

You can’t have a ball game without a ball! At the core of every baseball is a cork or rubber center, surrounded by a layer traditionally made from wool. The outer layer of the ball is a blend of horse and cowhide stitched together with a polyester cotton blend. And guess what? Texas leads the nation in cotton, beef and wool production. This emphasizes just how important Texas agriculture is to baseball!

Baseball’s signature sound—the crack of the bat—wouldn’t be possible without agriculture, either. The bat is crafted from trees like maple, ash and birch. Those trees are grown on a farm, and Texas is home to 11.5 million acres of timber.

Field crews and baseball players take pride in their craft, just like farmers take pride in growing crops and raising livestock.

And those crops are also used to make some of our favorite gameday snacks!

From popcorn to peanuts, sunflowers, hot dogs and cotton candy, agriculture supplies the fuel that keeps fans going inning after inning. Did you know?  Texas is one of the top states for peanut and sugarcane production!  

The players and farmers share a lot of similarities, too.

Like a ball player wakes up early for practice, farmers and ranchers are awake before the sun, ready for a day’s work.

Farmers spend time preparing the ground for planting and growing a crop, and baseball players put in hours of practice. Both are hopeful for a good season.

So, let’s root for the home team AND agriculture, because we wouldn’t get to enjoy baseball without Texas agriculture.