Kip Tom doesn’t consider himself a hero any more than the thousands of farmers we’re proud to have as part of the Farm Journal family. That doesn’t change the fact that Tom and other U.S. farmers are the heroes for a hungry world. 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 with those heroic efforts, more than 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night, according to Food and Agriculture Organization statistics. It’s easy to assume the world’s hungry are in developing countries. Most are, but a startling one in four children don’t have enough to eat every day here in the U.S.
At the same time, a growing education gap between the people who grow food and those who eat it is creating a general misunderstanding of agriculture and those who make a living from the land.
Put those two issues together and you have the motivation for our forming the Farm Journal Foundation as a philanthropic organization dedicated to serving farmers and the agricultural industry.
The Foundation’s first effort is Farmers Feeding the World, a campaign to fight hunger and educate the public on agriculture’s heroic role in feeding the world. Our goal is to raise $20 million annually by 2012 from individuals, organizations and agribusinesses. Those philanthropic funds will be devoted to two endeavors: putting food and the ability to grow food in the hands of the hungry and educating the public on the critical importance of sustainable commercial agriculture.
Tom, our farmer spokesman for Farmers Feeding the World, is no stranger to the effort’s focus.
“Production agriculture has a great story to tell, but it is often not heard,” says the Leesburg, Ind., farmer. “The Farmers Feeding the World effort speaks to the very fiber of what we’re all about—producing safe, abundant and affordable food today and into the future.”
Tom is leading by example by donating a penny for every bushel of corn above trend-line yields on every acre he farms in his family operation.
The non-profit effort will provide food relief domestically and internationally through existing, respected organizations. As a part of the educational outreach, the Foundation is producing television specials and is creating a traveling exhibit that showcases today’s sustainable agriculture. The interactive exhibit will visit dozens of events that each draw hundreds of thousands of people in a mix of rural and urban crowds.
“More Americans need to understand the importance of technology-driven sustainable agriculture,” explains Andrew J. Weber, Jr., chairman of the Foundation. “Kip is representative of modern agriculture up and down the food chain and is one of the farmers we’ll rely upon to speak out. Farmers Feeding the World provides a greatly needed common voice for all corners of agriculture.”
Watch future issues and check online at www.Farmers FeedingtheWorld.com for updates and more information. We need—and welcome—your support.
How to Donate:
By Mail: Farmers Feeding the World
- October 2010