Roundy's Supermarkets Raises $4,000 to Support Growing America's Farmers; James J. Hyland and Walt Dasher Discuss
MILWAUKEE, WI - As a trade writer for fresh produce, I've come to learn that one of the most integral parts of our industry is the legacy we are leaving behind for future generations and the path we a creating for the leaders ahead of us to walk. Helping to pave this walkway, Roundy’s Supermarkets partnered with G&R Farms throughout the months of May and June to raise $4,000 for scholarship and grant funds for Future Farmers of America (FFA) students in Wisconsin through the Growing America’s Farmers’ (GAF) promotional program.
“Roundy’s is a proud supporter of the Growing America’s Farmer program. The scholarship opportunities the program creates benefit the Future Farmers of America, our country’s best hope to keep family farming a reality,” said James J. Hyland, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs for Roundy’s. “American agriculture is vital in today’s world as it not only feeds the world but helps maintain the quality of land that both nourishes us and also helps protect our natural resources. We congratulate the scholarship winners and remain committed to supporting local Wisconsin farms and the farm families who are the backbone of our fresh and friendly offerings.”
Growing America’s Farmers is a creation of third-generation family farmer Walt Dasher, according to a press release. Through the program, a portion of the sales of designated products are donated to the National FFA Foundation which designates those funds to local FFA programs of the retailer’s choice. The money goes to supporting students that are pursuing careers in production agriculture.
“As a third-generation family farm, this is about more than marketing and promotions, this is a personal mission that hits at the heart of who I am and what I stand for,” commented Dasher, the Vice President for G&R Farms.
Over the last five years, GAF has raised more than $230,000 for FFA member scholarships across the U.S. This is Roundy’s fifth year supporting the program through its Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market stores in Wisconsin and its Mariano’s stores in Illinois. Overall, the retailer has helped raise funds totaling almost $13,000 dollars for students in Wisconsin.
It is currently estimated that the United States will need 70 percent more food by 2050, making production agriculture more important than ever and the need for future ag leaders is vital. Because of this, Dasher is passionate about helping the next generation of farmers to succeed.
“The current American farmer’s average age is 58 years old, and they are part of multi-generation family farms that are facing more and more pressure,” he explained.“We need to attract, support, and train young agriculture leaders who will become the torchbearers and next generation of producers. The FFA is truly one of our greatest resources and partners in doing this well.”
FFA membership is at a record high with over 760,000 members in 8,739 chapters across the country. The organization is also seeing record member diversity. Roundy’s home state of Wisconsin alone has more than 20,000 FFA members participating in agriculture, food, and natural resources programming.
Cheers to Roundy’s, G&R Farms, and FFA as they continue to help light the way for future produce industry members!