Growing America’s Farmers™ (GAF) is a scholarship-based program whose goal is to draw young adults into production agriculture. A third-generation farmer who recognizes the need to continue production agriculture at the family farm in Glennville, Georgia, Walt Dasher also understands the need for the younger generation to see the value of continuing production ag
In 2015 while trying to hire young people to work on the family farm, Walt realized that people under the age of 30 had very little interest in farm work. This caused great concern and the idea of GAF took root.
Knowing the average age of the American farmer is 57 years old, Walt began to formulate a program which could hopefully generate an interest in growing the American farmer
With only 2 percent of the population involved in production agriculture, Walt saw a need. Without young people putting their hands in the dirt and grasping the concept of farming, Walt feared there would be no need for other jobs and interest in the farming community. There are a variety of reasons why young adults don’t pursue a career in production ag. It is important to educate these young people about the true value of the American farmer when they are impressionable and are planning their career paths.
The National FFA Organization is the premier youth development organization for agricultural education students that provides life-changing experiences for its members. Those experiences are driven by a strong mission and a compelling vision. The organization’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
The FFA vision is to grow leaders, build communities and strengthen agriculture. FFA is an integral part of agricultural education by helping make classroom instruction come to life through realistic, hands-on applications.
Walt and G&R Farms truly understand the difficulty that lies with teaching young people. However, they believe through support of our FFA chapters and the American consumer, tomorrow’s farmers will begin to tackle the challenge and, hopefully, begin to decrease the average age of the American farmer
Let’s all do our part in supporting the farmers of tomorrow and FFA. By working together, we can make Growing America’s Farmers™ a huge success for all Americans
How you can support the program:
Many partnerships have already been established in southern and midwestern states. G&R is working diligently to solidify many more across the country. The beauty of this entire program is Walt and GAF have made very clear where the money is to be distributed within the program.
Once the funds are allocated to state FFA chapters, they will be designated for scholarships to students who have interest in production ag. GAF is designed for students who pledge to invest their lives in the true art and spirit of farming. This is where it all begins. If we are to thrive and grow in America’s farming industry, we must Grow Our American Farmers!