Sunday night at the 4-H/FFA Center in Greenfield, Janette Jorgensen, one of the facilitators for the Adair County based non-profit Ag for All, had all those in the room who had helped in any way with an Ag 4 All event to stand, and most of the room stood.
The event was Ag 4 All’s first ever Volunteer and Donor Appreciation Event. Several leaders in the group spoke, sharing the successes of the program over its history. A common thread throughout the night was that Ag 4 All wouldn’t survive without its volunteer base.
“This organization started through a community effort,” Blake Anderson shared with the crowd. “[We want] to bring more programming for agricultural advocacy. All of you in this room have played a huge part in that agricultural advocacy, helping people know where their food, fiber and natural resources come from, so thank you for doing that.”
In the last year, one of Ag 4 All’s three initiatives — Ag Adventures’ “Celebrate Ag, Celebrate Communities” initiative, which travels to various community celebrations in the area — made contact with over 1,600 people. Ag Adventures traveled to the Greenfield Fourth of July, Bridgewater Round-Up Day, Jesse James Chuckwagon Day, Good Egg Days in Stuart and will also go to Orient’s Pumpkin Days in September. Additionally, Ag Adventures set up in Casey during RAGBRAI’s recent trip through the area, and over 3,500 hard-boiled eggs were given to riders, hands-on experiences with animals were given and questions about agriculture were answered by volunteers.
Another major program Ag 4 All has done is its “Who’s Your Iowa Farmer” Facebook page, which seeks to put a name and face with agriculture for all who visit the page. The page covers agricultural related events, posts on various topics relating to current events and issues in agriculture and features creative profiles on producers around the state.
Other initiatives discussed were Ag Adventures Goes to School, STEM nights Ag Adventures has been a part of, and more. Ag 4 All also had a second grade Farmer Pen Pal project where students wrote back and forth with farmers and a third grade field day at the Neeley-Kinyon Research Farm. In all, Beth Baudler reported that there were 176 volunteers and 53 students who have helped with the group’s events in the last year.
Several donor companies and individuals were honored at the event for their contributions to Ag 4 All. Ag 4 All’s leadership was also recognized for their efforts in leading the organization. A meal followed the awards program.