County Farm Bureaus Support Members during COVID-19

News / FBNews July 8, 2022

Credit: Jackson-Vinton County Farm Bureau, Used With Permission 

By Sunny Andersen

Through its annual County Activities of Excellence Awards, the American Farm Bureau Federation celebrates county Farm Bureaus for their unique, volunteer-driven programming. The following counties were among 18 recognized for their programs and activities in 2020 and 2021. The programs featured here focused on member services.

Drive-Thru Breakfast with Santa in the Barn

Jackson-Vinton County

Ohio

Jackson-Vinton County (Ohio)Farm Bureau got creative during COVID-19 with a free drive-thru Christmas event for the community.

Families entered the fairgrounds gate where they were greeted by "The Grinch" and handed a rule sheet. They proceeded around a candy cane-lined road with characters and decorations.

Mrs. Claus greeted the family and handed a hot breakfast of pancakes, sausage and milk, prepared by the board members, to everyone inside the car.

After attendees received their breakfast, they continued the drive-thru to see animals such as longhorn cattle, miniature donkeys, baby goats and sheep and other small animals on their way to meet Santa.

Once they reached Santa, a photo was taken with the family inside the car while Santa handed them a Christmas card and a candy cane. JVCFB partnered with county Farm Bureau members, businesses and organizations such as FFA and 4-H to create the event.

Credit: Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau, Used With Permission   

First in the Nation Mass Vaccinations for Farmworkers

Santa Cruz County

California

To help ensure local farmers and farm workers were prepared and well-situated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Santa Cruz County (California) Farm Bureau worked with the county supervisor and county health officer to establish a collaborative relationship between the county government and the agriculture industry. The new partners established a strategy-oriented task force that included the county agriculture commissioner, county Health Department representatives and SCCFB staff.

In anticipation of positive cases in Santa Cruz County and challenges presented by the high-density multi-generational housing in the area, staff began thinking about the coming vaccine. The focus of the task force became ensuring the timely vaccination of employees and farmworkers.

In partnership with a local hospital, the county health department and local organizations, SCCFB successfully set up a model for agriculture worker vaccinations. All worked collaboratively to make the vaccine available to as many workers as possible within Santa Cruz County and adjoining counties as well.

There was a focus on getting a broad cross section of workers who would then serve as "ambassadors" to other ag workers who may have been reluctant to get vaccinated, especially as the spring harvest crews came into the area. Over 6,800 ag workers were vaccinated as a result of SCCFB’s efforts.

Credit: Bourbon County Farm Bureau, Used With Permission   

Take What You Need, Give What You Can (Little Pantry Project)

Bourbon County

Kentucky

Bourbon County (Kentucky) Farm Bureau started The Little Pantry Project as part of an ongoing collaboration with the local Extension office.

Food security in Bourbon County is an issue within the community, and the COVID-19 pandemic heightened the need for food resources. To combat this, the BCFB board partnered with a local county Extension office to construct and fund two little pantries within the community.

One pantry has been placed at the local Farm Bureau office and the other at the county Extension office. Using funds from BCFB, board members sign up monthly to help purchase food for the Farm Bureau pantry.

In addition, community members donate food and there are local food drives to help keep the pantry stocked. The pantry is utilized daily and there are plans to add more in the future.

Sunny Andersen, a senior at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is an intern in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Communications Department.

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