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
P.O. Box 6
Cedar Falls, IA 50613
By Phone: (866) 268-8661
On the Web: www.farmersfeedingtheworld.com
- Nearly one in seven people in the world go to bed hungry each night.
- While the vast majority of the hungry are in developing countries, one in four U.S. kids do not have the food they need each day.
- The world will need 70% more food in 2050.
- Production agriculture is increasingly under attack, fueled by ignorance and misinformation.
- The widening gap between those who grow food and those who eat it needs to be bridged to increase the understanding of who farmers are and how they underpin the security and wealth
of our society. That understanding will also reduce the likelihood of extremists and anti-agriculture behavior.
- Each one of us in agriculture has the ability to make a difference. We welcome you to join us in our efforts—donate, volunteer and speak out.
Our Charity Partners
We’re honored that Heifer International, a well-known development organization with food sustainability programs in the U.S. and around the globe, is our first partner in Farmers Feeding the World. Started by Indiana farmer Dan West, Heifer does agricultural development work in 50 countries (see the catalog in this issue).
“Farm Journal and Heifer both have rich history in the farming community, which makes us especially excited about working together to give U.S. farmers an opportunity to help others be self-reliant like they are,” says Terry Wollen, a veterinarian with Kansas farm roots at Heifer.
Heifer is one of a number of groups that Farmers Feeding the World will support. “We’ll be donating philanthropy funds to help support the work of development organizations including World Vision and our formal partnership with Heifer International—and to domestic relief programs, principally Feeding America, initially,” explains Andrew J. Weber Jr., chairman of the Farm Journal Foundation.