Giving Tuesday — the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, it’s rewarding to put our time and money toward organizations that help others and that are influential in farming, ranching, and other areas of agriculture.
Here are five great ag organizations that do a lot of good for agriculture that you can help out on this #GivingTuesday!
National FFA Organization and state and local chapters
Check your local association’s website to see if they are participating in a Giving Tuesday project. If you want to help your local FFA Chapter, get in touch with the advisor. Throughout the year, FFA chapters provide its members with amazing opportunities, many of which require money to participate. You can also support FFA this Giving Tuesday through much more than monetary donations — many chapters will be holding community service projects, food drives, and more this time of the year.
National, state, and local 4-H clubs
4-H is the nation’s largest youth organization, and many of the programs are centered around science and agriculture. Focusing on the four principles of head, hands, heart, and health, the organization’s principles provide limitless positive youth development opportunity. Donations to 4-H clubs can help youth attend camps and educational opportunities. If you’d prefer to do something with your hands, 4-H is always looking for volunteers and project leaders. You have the opportunity to donate on a national, state, or local level.
American Farmland Trust
American Farmland Trust is a national agricultural organization that recognizes the connection between land, forward-looking farming practices, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. So far, AFT has led a movement that has protected nearly 7 million acres of farmland and ranchland using agricultural conservation easements. You can donate in multiple ways on the AFT website, or you can give directly to the #BrighterFutureFund, which assists farmers in successfully launching, growing, and sustaining farms.
Farmer Veteran Coalition
Farmer Veteran Coalition serves veterans who are transitioning from military services to careers in agriculture. The coalition also can help veterans to establish their own farms or ranches, all without charging members a fee. Donations help fund a myriad of funds, trainings, and networking all to help the men and women who are returning from war and military services.
National Agriculture in the Classroom
National Agriculture in the Classroom programs offer free resources to teachers to help improve agricultural literacy — on the national level, the program reaches over 5 million students, but each state has a state chapter that assists local teachers with support and resources as well. The Ag in the Classroom curriculum meets educational standards while providing an opportunity to help make the next generation of young people agriculture literate. Young people who are more ag literate will have an increased knowledge of agriculture allowing them to make more informed personal choices about diet, health, and establishing policies to support the agricultural industry.
If you have the means and plan to give during Giving Tuesday, consider these local, state, and national options this week! The future of agriculture will benefit from your support.