Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Grants Foster ‘Our Food Link’ Activities

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 3, 2015 – Four county Farm Bureaus were selected from a competitive pool of applicants to each receive a $1,500 grant from the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee to help fund “Our Food Link” activities.

Grant-winning programs demonstrate a strong connection between the food system and agriculture, while creatively engaging consumers in a way that encourages them to learn more about food and agricultural products.

“It is extremely important to share agriculture’s message with the general public, since many Americans are several generations removed from the family farm,” said Sherry Saylor, an Arizona row crop farmer who chairs the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. “These grants will be used to help consumers learn about agriculture.”

The Farm Bureaus selected to receive the grants are highlighted below.

McLean County (Illinois) plans to develop “Our Food Link” learning kits to encourage agricultural literacy among grade-school students in the county.

McLean County (North Dakota) will host a “Harvest Hike” 5K run and walk. At various stations along the run/walk route participants and other attendees will learn about the major crops and livestock produced in North Dakota.

Tuscarawas County (Ohio) is developing an interactive video lesson plan that will allow students and teachers to virtually visit a farm and learn about agriculture.

York County (South Carolina) is set to host a 5K “Run for Agriculture.” Farmers in the county will speak with participants about common misunderstandings related to agriculture.

Our Food Link is a year-round program that county and state Farm Bureaus can use to effectively reach consumers of all ages and backgrounds with information about today’s agriculture. This outreach is more important than ever because the average American is now at least three generations removed from the farm.

Program activities are flexible and creative, including not only the grant-winning projects but also outreach at supermarkets or farmers’ markets, interactive booths at community events, speaking with lawmakers and neighbors about food, visiting classrooms to help students understand agricultural topics and much more.

“Our Food Link” activities may also include the collection of food and monetary donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities or other charities.

The launch of the program was spearheaded in 2014 by the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee, although all Farm Bureau members are encouraged to participate in “Our Food Link” activities.

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