MATTHEWS, NC – Harris Teeter BB #:108293 partnered with produce supplier Virginia Produce Company BB #:170974 of Hillsville, Va. in May and June to raise $18,000 for scholarship and grant funds for FFA students in Virginia through the Growing America’s Farmer’s (GAF) promotional program.
The Growing America’s Farmers program was designed so a portion of the sales of designated products, sweet corn in this case, are donated to the National FFA Foundation who designates those funds to state FFA programs of the retailer’s choice to support students pursuing careers in production agriculture.
GAF Founder, Walt Dasher of G&R Farms remarked, “It’s so rewarding to see the growth of this program and celebrate the work of committed organizations like VA Produce and Harris Teeter and their success proves what a blessing this program is to students pursuing careers in production agriculture.”
During the past six years the GAF program has already raised nearly $350,000 for FFA member scholarships throughout the United States. Harris Teeter is in its sixth year supporting the program and has helped raise funds totaling nearly $40,000 for students in Virginia and North Carolina. This is the first year they have included sweet corn from Virginia Produce in the program and a formal check presentation was made at the Virginia State FFA Convention in June.
“Our Team at Harris Teeter is proud to support local growers such as G&R Farms and Virginia Produce Company to help further our mutual mission of advancing produce consumption, agriculture development and the success of future generations of leaders. Harris Teeter is pleased to assist in providing access to our stores to enable and develop our FFA students into successful young adults, and to partner to provide resources to encourage the future generation of leaders to study agriculture locally. said Karin Humanik, Director of Produce for Harris Teeter.
In understanding that need, Virginia Produce Company CEO, Moir Beamer is also passionate about the next generation of farmers. “It was so rewarding to use our business to help invest in FFA members and know that we are helping them financially as they begin their studies in college.” Beamer continued, “With the challenges we’re all experiencing from the farm all the way down to the grocery store, the whole supply chain needs to support our agriculture students. They’re who will be growing the food we need to feed the future generations.”
FFA has been successful at attracting and training those leaders, nationwide. With 760,000+ members in 8,739 chapters across all 50 states, including chapters in 24 of the 25 largest U.S. cities, FFA’s impact is widespread. The association is also setting records in member diversity. In Virginia, FFA has nearly 10,000 FFA members and has continued to show growth thanks to expanded programing in agriculture, food, technology, and natural resources.
Beamer, closed by saying, “These FFA students are some of the best and brightest and know they are our future…they will be our next farmers and ranchers and grow our food – they are truly shining stars.”
For six years, Growing America’s Farmers has continued to grow and recognize the importance of supporting the next generation of producers, Dasher concluded by saying, “these results show the power of combined efforts when companies work together for the same goal everybody wins. I can’t wait to welcome more grower shippers and retailers into our program to secure the future of agriculture.”
About Virginia Produce Company, Inc.
As a third-generation family farm, Virginia Produce Company (VPC) began in Southwest Virginia with a truck and a dream in 1955 under the name Beamer Produce. Today, the organization manages 43 farms, the majority in Virginia, and runs a 130,000 sq. ft. processing facility, handling a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. VPC has been growing, packing, marketing and shipping fresh produce for over six decades. For more information visit https://vaproduce.com/.
About Virginia State FFA Organization
The Virginia State FFA Association is a school-based state youth leadership development organization with a large state association of nearly 10,000 members. They strive to make a positive impact on the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. For more, visit the Virginia FFA Organization online at https://www.vaffa.org/ and on Facebook and Twitter.