FFA’s Feed a Farmer Project

Faith Watz, Staff Writer

“Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve” is the motto of the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization.
According to the official website, “FFA is an intracurricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership.”
Nationwide, it has over 760,000 members.
Every fall, the South West Metro FFA chapter rallies together to give back to local farmers through a Feed a Farmer volunteer project, an event in which the chapter provides lunch by packing food and snack items into individual bags, then delivering them to farmers working in their fields.
Minnetonka’s local chapter is the South West Metro chapter, which encompasses other nearby cities including Carver, Chanhassen, Waconia, Jordan, and more.
Through FFA, students can participate in many other events and activities surrounding central themes of agriculture and leadership. The chapter has many other fun projects throughout the year, many of which emphasize the idea of giving back and making a difference in the community.
Madison Armstrong, a senior at Waconia High School and the chapter’s Vice President, shared why she enjoys this project.
“I love how we are able to give back to those who play a big part of the food we eat,” Armstrong said.
In early October, some of the chapter officers set out to receive donations from local businesses. These generous donations from grocery stores and tractor supply shops in the area allowed them to buy the food and snacks needed for the event. These organizations were more than happy to contribute to this project. Local businesses love to show their support because they know the incredibly positive impact it creates.
Later in the month, about ten members of the group reconnected to pack the lunches and deliver them. The bags were filled with beef jerky, chips, granola bars, fruit, water, soda and other goodies.
Everyone split into cars and set off to make the deliveries. They drove around, and when they saw a farmer working in a field they would hand-deliver them a lunch bag. They also delivered bags to friends and family they knew working in the fields.
Armstrong said, “It makes me so happy when we go to an unsuspecting farmer and offer them lunch; that look on their face makes me feel like I’ve done something great.”
At the end of the day, the chapter even received thank-you calls and letters from some farmers expressing their gratitude. Because of this, they are considering doing something similar for the farmers in the spring as well.
2020 has been an especially difficult year, and many of us are tired and losing patience. As this year comes to a close, it’s a perfect time to do something to give back to the community. Whether it’s giving a donation to a favorite charity, or simply saying thanking the cashier at the grocery store for what they do, a little kindness can go a long way.