Kroger and G&R Farms raise money for ag's next generation
Kroger partnered with produce supplier G&R Farms of Glennville, GA, earlier this year to raise $9,000 for scholarship and grant funds for FFA students in Georgia through the Growing America’s Farmer’s promotional program.
The Growing America’s Farmers program was the brainchild of third-generation family farmer Walt Dasher, a Vidalia onion grower from Georgia. In the program, a portion of the sales of designated products are donated to the National FFA Foundation who designates those funds to local FFA programs of the retailer’s choice to support students pursuing careers in production agriculture.
During the past five years the GAF program has already raised more than $230,000 for FFA member scholarships throughout the United States. Kroger is in its fifth year supporting the program and has helped raise funds totaling over $36,000 dollars for students in Georgia.
“Kroger’s partnership with Growing America’s Farmer directly aligns with the mission of Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative, our bold social impact plan to create communities free of hunger and waste in the places we call home," said Felix B. Turner, corporate affairs manager for Kroger Atlanta Division. "Growing America’s Farmers enables Kroger to support regional agriculture while providing opportunities for FFA students to continue their agricultural studies and attain their goals. These students are the future farmers, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers who will help improve food security and end food waste.”
Now more than ever, production agriculture is at a crossroads that requires all areas of the supply chain to be engaged and support future agriculture leaders who will grow the food needed to support a growing population: it is estimated that the U.S. will need 70 percent more food by 2050.
“We would like to thank Walt Dasher and G&R Farms for their dedication and commitment to funding FFA scholarships by creating innovative partnerships and opportunities,” said Turner.
In addition to understanding that need, Dasher is also passionate about the next generation of farmers. “The current American farmer’s average age is 58 years old and they are part of multi-generation family farms that are facing more and more pressure,” he said. “We need to attract, support and train young agriculture leaders who will become the torchbearers and next generation of producers. The FFA is truly one of our greatest resources and partners in doing this well.”
Across the country, FFA is attracting and training those leaders. In fact, FFA membership is at a record high with 760,000-plus members in 8,739 chapters across all 50 states, including chapters in 24 of the 25 largest U.S. cities and setting records in member diversity. In Georgia, FFA has nearly 400 FFA chapters and more than 71,000 FFA members participating in agriculture, food, and natural resources programming.
“As a third-generation family farm, this is about more than marketing and promotions, this is a personal mission that hits at the heart of who I am and what I stand for,” said Dasher.