Across America, farmers, ranchers and those involved in agriculture work together in times of prosperity and in crisis. This sense of responsibility and compassion for one another is woven into the fabric of those of us who work in the agricultural community. But it doesn’t stop there. It also extends to being good citizens, engaged in the communities where we live.
One of the American Feed Industry Association’s four pillars of sustainability focuses on AFIA members’ contributions to charitable causes, both in terms of volunteer hours and donations. Each year, AFIA conducts an informal poll of its members to tally the amount of community service hours and funds donated to a range of charities and community organizations.
The most recent survey, released in January 2018, found that AFIA member employees volunteered a collective 92,000 hours of their time to supporting community service projects in 2017. AFIA member companies, including company-employee matches, also donated over $44 million to an expansive list of community causes, representing a number of charities involved in education, civil service, agriculture, health and collegiate grants/research. Eighty-nine percent of the respondents donated to hunger relief charities, 81 percent to education programs and 82 percent to university research, grants and graduate schools. In total, AFIA members donated to more than 200 charities in 2017, including the American Heart Association, local agricultural and youth associations, the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way and more.