Q: “You talk about how many people one farmer feeds and that you have the job of feeding the world. Well, what about all the people right here in the U.S. that worry about where their next meal will come from? What are you doing to help feed them?”
A: Every day, America’s farmers and ranchers rise to the challenge of feeding, fueling and clothing the growing population of the world. And we take great pride and passion in producing the safest, most abundant, cheapest priced and healthiest food, clothing products and renewable fuels of any country in the world!
As a country, we are enduring some very difficult times financially and our poverty levels are on the rise along with food insecurity across all age groups of Americans. In America, in 2010, some estimated 48.8 million people lived in food insecure households. In Nebraska and Iowa, one in every five children is known to be food insecure. But, be assured that American’s are not going hungry because of a lack lustering food production system, but more so from the state of our economy. In 2011, some 80 million citizens of the U.S. applied for the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) program, the most ever in American history, as a result from lost jobs and a struggling economy.
I must also point out that as farmers, we don’t set the prices for the products you get in the store — the buyers do.
On a state and local level, local producers, county Farm Bureaus, Nebraska Farm Bureau Organization along with other cooperating partners have teamed up to sponsor a food drive event called the Can- Care-A-Van. In 2010, the Can-Care-A-Van event received more than 257,000 pounds of food to be donated the local food pantries, a 45% increase from 2009!
And, in 2010, the farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau raised more than $273,000 and donated more than 18 million pounds of food to hungry Americans as part of Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program through Feeding America. Combined, the monetary and food donations provided the equivalent of more than 16 million meals!
In closing, as stated by the President’s Task Force on Food Assistance in 1984,”It has long been an article of faith among the American people that no one in a land so blessed with plenty should go hungry. …Hunger is simply not acceptable in our society”. I strongly believe that every farmer and rancher in our great nation would strongly support that comment every day of their lives!
Tim Krause, Custer County Farm Bureau Member, Nebraska Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher Committee Member