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March 02, 2006   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
March 02, 2006

The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau last year raised $160,000 and donated 686,000 pounds of food for hungry Americans during the third year of the "Harvest for All" program. The cash and food donations, combined with volunteer hours contributed by Farm Bureau members, are the equivalent of 3 million meals.

Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher (YF&R) programs are spearheading the "Harvest for All" program across the nation. State YF&R programs were recognized at the American Farm Bureau Federation's YF&R conference for their outstanding achievements in raising food, funds and volunteer hours through the farmer-driven, hunger-relief effort.

"Harvest for All" is a joint effort between Farm Bureau and America's Second Harvest -- The Nation's Food Bank Network, in partnership with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. The national community-action program enables farmers to play a role in ensuring that the bounty produced on America's farms and ranches may be enjoyed by all.

"Interest and participation in this program has grown every year since it was initiated. We are very pleased with the substantial amount of money, food and volunteer hours contributed by members last year," said AFBF YF&R Chair Jerry Barr, who farms in Tennessee. "Farmers and ranchers across the nation are doing their part to ensure that all Americans have food on their dinner tables."

In addition to raising food and funds for the initiative, farmers and ranchers contributed nearly 5,000 hours of their time for hunger-relief efforts at local food banks, homeless shelters, churches and community centers.

"We deeply appreciate the leadership shown by Farm Bureau members in response to hunger among their neighbors," said Robert Forney, president and CEO of America's Second Harvest. "Harvest for All continues to be a productive partnership between those who grow the food we eat and America's Second Harvest."

At the Harvest for All awards Saturday, the Illinois Farm Bureau YF&R Committee took top honors for raising the most money, food donations and volunteer time. The organization raised $70,061, contributed 566,563 pounds of food and volunteered 2,547 hours. Out of appreciation, AFBF presented members of the Illinois Farm Bureau YF&R Committee with three $3,000 checks, for being the top producers in each of the three categories, to be donated to food banks of their choice.

Second-place programs in each category received $2,000 grants from AFBF for donation to their food bank of choice. Those recipients are: North Carolina YF&R Committee, for food donations; Georgia YF&R Committee, for volunteer hours; and Indiana YF&R Committee, for money raised.

The American Farm Bureau Federation is the nation's largest general farm organization with affiliates in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

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