“No Farmers. No Food.” It’s a quote I’ve carried throughout my life coming from a fifth-generation farming family in Florida. But as I’ve had the privilege to meet different farmers and ranchers across the country, and gain an understanding of their unique operations, I’ve come to see the quote as, “Know Farmers, Know Food.” Without knowing who our farmers are and where our food comes from it is hard to appreciate the agriculture industry. Growing up working on my family’s citrus groves and cattle ranch sparked my appreciation for agriculture and the vital role farmers play in keeping this nation fed. I learned the value of a dollar and the importance of a solid work ethic.
Through the AgAmerica Foundation we are supporting organizations such as the Florida Farm Bureau, Future Farmers of America, and 4-H that provide sponsorships and programs for youth in ag. Educating the next generation of farmers and ranchers to have the skillset needed to succeed in today’s evolving agricultural landscape is a goal that we should all share. Financial literacy, public policy awareness, public speaking, entrepreneurship, and hands on experience in agriculture are all examples of skills that our next generation must possess. In addition to sponsorships, the AgAmerica Foundation selects applicants to sponsor and provide an add-on for their livestock.
Carlee Taylor, a fifth grader and a member of Hoof-n-Horn 4-H Club, raises Brangus cattle and exhibits them at livestock shows throughout the state of Florida and around the country. AgAmerica helps sponsor and provide an add-on to showcase her steer at the Polk County Youth Fair. “I am so thankful that AgAmerica believes and supports youth in agriculture. I was first scared to tell my story, but I look forward to coming and seeing what AgAmerica is doing. This experience has helped me build confidence. I am so grateful that they believe in me,” said Carlee.
Raising livestock for the Polk County Youth Fair and other agriculture programs educate young farmers and ranchers on the importance of stewardship and financial responsibility, and the importance of networking for their future in ag.
At AgAmerica, we are grateful for the ability to make a difference in the lives of the next generation and support the future of agriculture. Visit AgAmerica.com to learn more.
Patrick Spinosa is the Director of Business Development at AgAmerica Lending. He is a deeply respected member of Florida agriculture and serves as an advocate and active member to the Florida Forestry Association, Florida FFA Foundation, and the Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers.