A new program launched Sunday at the American Farm Bureau's 95th Annual Convention will help county and state Farm Bureaus reach consumers with information about today's agriculture.
The program, Our Food Link, was launched by the AFBF Women's Leadership Committee.
"Consumer outreach is more important than ever because the average American is now at least three generations removed from the farm," said Terry Gilbert, committee chairwoman. AFBF says farm and ranch families make up less than 2% of the U.S. population today.
The roll-out of the program included the distribution of a planning toolkit to help Farm Bureau members start thinking about projects that will engage people in their communities.
Suggested activities include outreach at supermarkets or farmers' markets, hosting interactive booths at community events or visiting classrooms to help students understand agricultural topics.
Other program ideas include an Adopt-a-Farmer program, fun runs, garden projects and other "foodie" events.
Our Food Link activities may also include the collection of food and monetary donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities or other charities.
County and state Farm Bureaus can start Our Food Link projects with competitive grants. Up to seven $700 grants will be awarded for project proposals that reflect strong connections between the food system and agriculture, while creatively engaging consumers in a way that encourages them to learn more about food and agricultural products.
For more information about the application process, contact Elaine Bristol at firstname.lastname@example.org.