T-shirts supporting the W.Va. Young Farmers and Ranchers program were produced in cooperation with Top Line Apparel LLC. / Photo courtesy Top Line Apparel

‘No farmers, no food, no future’: Buy a T-shirt to support young farmers and ranchers

BUCKHANNON – Interested in helping young farmers carve out a brighter future for themselves and everyone who benefits from the agricultural industry?

Right now, the West Virginia Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers group is fundraising for a variety projects and scholarships, which it hopes will ultimately strengthen farming in the Mountain State.

The W.Va. Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers program is selling shirts that read “Still Farming,” in cooperation with Top Line Apparel LLC to raise money for various projects and scholarships they award.

The Young Farmer and Rancher program provides leadership opportunities for young women and men ages 18-35 who are interested in agriculture and ranching. Utilizing both educational and competitive events, YF&R programs endeavor to build a stronger and more effective Farm Bureau for the future.

Danielle Grant, chair of the W.Va. Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers committee, said some of the money would also traditionally go toward travel.

“Our annual meetings are held all over the country every year,” Grant said. “The annual meeting for the Farm Bureau was supposed to be held in California, and whether that’s actually going to happen or not is kind of debatable right now, or we’re thinking it’s probably not.”

She said the meeting is nationally recognized event, and President Donald Trump has previously made appearances.

“It’s a really good opportunity for our committee to be able to go to those events, but we also use the money to sponsor scholarships for high school students who are interested in agriculture,” Grant said. “We do a project with book barns. That’s where we take books that are accurate about agriculture into elementary schools, and then we have a bookshelf that looks like a barn and we donate that ‘book barn’ and the books in it to the school, so young children can start to learn about agriculture.”

She said additionally, YF&R typically collaborates with the West Virginia Future Farmers of America Association, or FFA, to plant and harvest sweet corn.

“We didn’t get to do it this year because of the coronavirus, but we plant and harvest fresh sweet corn that is then donated to food banks across the state, and we help pack backpack meals, so the funding isn’t necessarily earmarked toward just one of these projects; it’s just to help out wherever it’s needed,” Grant said.

Grant said the group has sold T-shirts before, but they are excited about this particular shirt design. In addition, the words ‘Still Farming,’ text on the shirt says, “No Farmers, No Food, No Future.”

“The ‘Still Farming’ movement was a good thing that kind of came out because of the coronavirus,” Grant said. “It was a message that started when the grocery stores were short on food and other items. We want people to understand that even though it may not be getting to the grocery stores, even though the coronavirus is out there, we’re still out here and we’re producing a product – our cows do not know that coronavirus is happening.”

The best place to order a shirt and support the W.Va. Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers program is the Top Line Apparel website; look under ‘Current Fundraiser’ items or just click here.

“I would highly encourage anybody, whether they’re a young farmer not, involved with Farm Bureau or not, to check out the shirts and consider becoming a Farm Bureau member,” Grant said. “A lot of times we’re kind of stereotyped as being an organization for farmers, but the work that we do on policy and so forth benefits any landowner in the state. If anybody’s interested in it, I recommend they visit our website to get some more details about the benefits of being a Farm Bureau member.”

Learn more about the Farm Bureau by visiting www.farm.org.

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