A strategic approach to advocacy led to many successes in 2018 for the Farm Journal Foundation (FJF), our namesake charity. The 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, started eight years ago, is dedicated to protecting agriculture’s ability to feed the world with the use of modern technology and public policy.
The mission of FJF is achieved through engagement, education and advocacy with farmers, millennials and policymakers. Diverse stakeholders, both outside and inside agriculture, are engaged through platforms such as the Farmers Feeding the World program, HungerU and the Farm Journal Foundation Policy Dialogue.
In addition to donations from Farm Journal, funding for FJF programs comes from farmers and individuals as well as the National Corn Growers Association, agribusinesses and philanthropic organizations.
The Farmers Feeding the World (FFW) program engages farmers and ranchers from across the U.S. to tell the story of agriculture’s leadership role in feeding the world. More than 50 leaders from 17 states provide educational outreach to federal policymakers, the broader agricultural sector and grass-top stakeholder groups in their states. FFW Farmers have held more than 400 face-to-face meetings with national-level policy- makers in both Congress and the executive branch since the program was established in 2014.
Through a consistent presence on Capitol Hill, FFW Farmers and policymakers engage in an ongoing dialogue about the central role of and the tools necessary for U.S. agriculture to assume leadership in achieving global food and nutritional security. The farm team efforts directly contributed to the passage of the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act of 2018—the bill passed unanimously in both Houses of Congress.
In 2018, FFW Farmers also focused their conversations with policymakers on the 2018 farm bill and how to improve the ability of USDA and land-grant universities to help smallholder farmers in developing countries become better farmers. FFW Farmers spoke at public events focused on food security and agricultural research in Washington, D.C., Moline, Ill., and Des Moines, Iowa.
The HungerU experience offers various ways for students to engage and learn about hunger and modern agriculture’s role in feeding the world. Those include a mobile exhibit, an interactive HungerU Challenge app, classroom engagements and campus-level volunteering. The diversity of opportunities means students can personalize their learning, and many become part of the HungerU social media and advocacy community.
The centerpiece of HungerU is a mobile exhibit that travels around the U.S. providing fun, dynamic learning experiences for students. This past fall, the HungerU Tour traveled to George Washington University, Delaware Valley University, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, the University of North Florida, Florida State University, Texas A&M University, Hope Farmers Market, Huston-Tillotson University and the National FFA Convention and Expo.
The tour will continue into the winter and spring with a special tour of middle schools and high schools in the St. Louis metro region.
Some highlights from the 2018 fall HungerU Tour include:
- 6,700-plus students donated to local organizations.
- 9,000-plus letters were sent by students to Capitol Hill, displaying their support of agriculture’s role in feeding the world.
- 1.2 million-plus students engaged through social media.
The FJF Policy Dialogue convenes global thought leaders with key policy influencers to facilitate discussion and critical thinking around the most important issues framing food and agriculture policy today.
The organization’s most recent efforts are three peer-reviewed papers and related briefings that helped kick off a much-needed dialogue on how U.S. agriculture can maintain its comparative strength, share its extraordinary knowledge and tools, and drive economic growth and stability. This body of work focuses on the critical importance of support and investment in agriculture research, development and Extension.
All three papers are available on the FJF website, www.FarmJournalFoundation.org.
As a result of the Policy Dialogue work, FJF was honored to provide written and verbal testimony during the Congressional hearing on the upcoming farm bill, cementing FJF as influential thought leaders in agricultural policy.
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Thank you for supporting the Farm Journal Foundation, an independent 501(c)3 organization. Your gift not only helps feed the hungry but also helps communicate the importance of modern agriculture. Click here if you would like to donate.