Dear Farm Journal Reader:
When talking with farmers who just weathered the worst drought since 1956, I’m heartened by how many link the impact of the drought with their ability to feed the world. Being from Missouri, I’ve lived through several droughts. Memories of 1988 are the most vivid, but this is the first time I’ve heard farmers worry about a short crop putting the hungry at risk.
As the Editor of Farm Journal and President of the Farm Journal Foundation, which leads the nonprofit Farmers Feeding the World initiative, that connection provokes a bittersweet pride for how farmers are engaging in the fight to alleviate hunger, both here and abroad. Today, the average U.S. farmer feeds 155 people. That’s a far cry from the 26 people a single producer fed in 1960. Even so, more than 870 million people go to bed hungry every night—many of them children. At the same time, a growing information gap between the people who grow food and those who eat it is creating a general misunderstanding of agriculture.
Thanks to support from farmers like yourself, Farmers Feeding the World devotes philanthropic funds to tackle both problems by:
- making sure food and, most importantly, the ability to grow food is in the hands of the hungry.
- educating the public on the critical importance of modern agriculture and your freedom to operate.
In the past year, thanks to the generosity of hundreds of farmers, ranchers and friends of agriculture, Farmers Feeding the World has:
- supported a $1 million donation to Heifer International to teach the hungry in the U.S. and abroad to feed themselves.
- launched the inaugural HungerU Tour, visiting seven college campuses and the National FFA Convention this past fall. Made possible by support from DuPont Crop Protection, the Tour educated students, academia and all who eat about the pivotal role agriculture plays in feeding the world’s burgeoning population. Several stops included evening Food Forums as well.
- provided funding for a $500,000 grant program that awarded up to $2,500 each to 140 FFA chapters. The partnership with the National FFA Organization was made possible with matching funds from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The FFA: Food For All grants gave chapters the incentive to start sustainable community hunger solutions, which created $14.70 in return for every $1 granted. The Checotah, Okla., chapter’s president was honored at the White House as a "Champion of Change."
- conducted advocacy and education efforts in Washington, D.C., including: face-to-face meetings with policymakers and power brokers such as House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow; a Freshman Lawmaker Roundtable; an Ag Briefing with the Alliance to End Hunger; and the Farm Journal Forum.
Here's a video overview of our work:
Learn more about our Milestone Year.