Last week, this year’s class of HungerU ambassadors prepared to launch the college tour portion of the program during a day of educational presentations in Washington D.C. The already-accomplished students prepared to have peer-to-peer conversations at universities that graduated tomorrow’s leader in business, government, science and other fields that open minds to the importance of modern agricultural tools, such as GMOs, pesticides and gene editing, in farmers’ struggle to feed a growing population.
This year’s ambassadors, Tyheim Brown, Lona Strader and Meagan Miller, asked probing questions, showing intense interest in subjects from sustainability’s relationship to landownership to addressing the importance of ethanol in producing feed and fuel, during a multi-hour presentation by NCGA Communications Director Cathryn Wojcicki.
Ambassadors explored NCGA’s mission and activities to foster consumer engagement in agricultural issues and support farmers’ freedom to operate. Delving into topics such as the importance of biotechnologies, crop inputs and innovative breeding techniques, the team expressed great interest in how modern farming practices and tools play a critical role in growing the crops that will feed and fuel a growing population.
HungerU, a program platform of the Farm Journal Foundation, is an educational and advocacy platform designed to engage universities’ student populations. This fall tour marks the third year of NCGA’s partnership in the program. A central purpose of HungerU is communication outside of the “bubble” of agriculture with future influencers—voters, consumers and community leaders—to connect people with the central and necessary role of modern agriculture in creating affordable, wholesome food for all.
This year’s tour of colleges focuses on the mid-Atlantic region. This geographic focus allows the team to share farmers’ story with tomorrow’s leaders in policy and business while continuing the work launched earlier this summer at the Agriculture: Voice of the Farmer Garden on the National Mall.
Tour stops already confirmed for this fall include: Catholic University of America; University of the District of Columbia; George Washington University; Trinity Washington University; Howard University; Delaware Valley University; and the University of Pennsylvania. Every stop leverages a detailed community plan to ensure that HungerU’s value is being communicated through social media and local news outlets.
This year’s class of Ambassadors brings varied educational backgrounds and a diversity of life experiences, the team combines expertise in areas such as nutrition, communications and anthropology with interests from cinematography to gardening. All of the ambassadors share an enthusiasm for working with agriculture to bridge the divide from gate to plate in a manner that is relevant to tomorrow’s increasingly diverse, urban population.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.