Farm Bureau: Members Raise $80,000 for America's Hungry

America's Second Harvest
Monday, 23 February 2004

The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau last year raised $80,000 and donated 718,000 pounds of food to hungry Americans during the inaugural year of the "Harvest for All" program.

Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) programs are spearheading the "Harvest for All" program across the nation. State YF&R programs were recognized Saturday at the American Farm Bureau Federation's YF&R conference for their enormous strides to raise food, funds and volunteer hours through the farmer-driven, hunger-relief effort.

"Harvest for All," a joint effort between Farm Bureau and America's Second Harvest, in partnership with Syngenta and the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, is a national community-action program through which farmers can help ensure that every American can enjoy the bounty produced on America's farms and ranches.

"We are very pleased with the substantial amount of money, food and volunteer hours donated last year, especially since it was the first year for the program," said AFBF YF&R Chair Steve Anderegg, who farms in Iowa. "Farmers and ranchers from across the nation are stepping up to the plate to ensure that all Americans have food on their dinner tables."

Aside from raising food and funds for the initiative, farmers and ranchers donated nearly 5,000 hours of their time for hunger-relief efforts at their local food banks, homeless shelters, churches and community centers.

"We are honored and grateful for the leadership shown by Farm Bureau members on their response to hunger among their neighbors," said Robert Forney, president and CEO of America's Second Harvest. "Harvest for All is a wonderful partnership between those who grow the food we eat and America's Second Harvest."

At the Harvest for All awards Saturday, the California Farm Bureau YF&R Committee took top honors for raising the most money, food donations and volunteer time. The organization raised $33,238, as well as 647,555 pounds of food and 3,362 volunteer hours. Out of appreciation, Syngenta presented members of the California Farm Bureau YF&R Committee three checks, for $5,000 each for being the top producers in each of the three categories. The California YF&R Committee is planning to donate the entire $15,000 grant from Syngenta to the Santa Barbara food bank, since most of the work took place in Santa Barbara County.

"We are grateful for Syngenta's generous contribution," said Anderegg. "Because of Syngenta's support and commitment to this great cause, those farmers and ranchers who worked the hardest in their community can now donate additional funds that will significantly help out their community members."

Examples of California's community service includes raising over 100,000 pounds of turkey at Thanksgiving for the Santa Barbara food bank and filling Dodge pickup trucks statewide with 11,000 pounds of food during October and November.

To kick off the Harvest For All program's second year of community action, while in Salt Lake City, YF&R members spent most of Saturday sorting 33,000 pounds of food at the Utah Food Bank, which will be distributed among the area's hungry.

The American Farm Bureau Federation is the nation's largest general farm organization with affiliates in the 50 states and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit our website at www.fb.org .

For more information, or to contact America's Second Harvest, see their website at: www.secondharvest.org

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