photo credit: Idaho Farm Bureau, Used with Permission
Farm Bureau has a long history of channeling our volunteers’ enthusiasm, resourcefulness and dedication. Across rural America, our members work hard to support our loved ones and neighbors and to cultivate our local communities. Service is just part of who farmers and ranchers are – it's in our DNA. As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, I want to take a moment to recognize and thank the individuals who make our organization strong and successful.
At the heart of Farm Bureau are our dedicated county leaders. These volunteers are the backbone of our organization and the voice of agriculture in their local communities. They work tirelessly to promote the interests of farmers and ranchers, while also serving as volunteers who help make rural America more vibrant by volunteering at local food banks, raising their hands to read to kids at local schools, judging FFA and 4-H competitions and so much more.
Our county leaders are passionate and committed to ensuring the continued success of American agriculture. They are the ones who help to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers by providing engagement programs that help share how our food, fiber and fuel is safely and sustainably grown for our local communities, our nation and our world.
The spirit of volunteerism that runs through our membership is one of the many things that make our organization so strong. You give selflessly, not expecting a return and not always seeing the full harvest of your labors. Farm Bureau members give their time, talents and resources to help their neighbors and support their communities, even as they also tend to their crops and herds 24/7.
The spirit of volunteerism that runs through our membership is one of the many things that make our organization so strong.
Without their dedication and hard work, we would not be able to accomplish all that we do together. For example, our Women’s Leadership Committee raised $78,000 for the Ronald McDonald House last year. That brings their four-year total to over $550,000. And last year, our Harvest for All campaign, coordinated by Young Farmer and Rancher Committees nationwide, collected over 25 million pounds of food, over $1 million for food banks on top of the 13,000 hours of service YF&R members invested in their communities.
Those numbers represent just a fraction of the generosity shown across our Farm Bureau family, as thousands of you give back regularly through service and charitable donations at the state and county levels. Your service provides a shining example for others to follow. Giving back to our communities is important. It’s what we’re called to do.
This year, as we celebrate National Volunteer Week, I encourage each and every one of you to take a moment to reflect on the impact that you can have on our organization, on agriculture, and on the communities near and dear to our hearts. I also challenge you to consider how you can get more involved, bring others along to join in serving, and together, help to make a difference.