--Putting a face on farmers and ranchers and raising donations for 4,198 meals

Ropes, tires, panels, food, t-shirts, and hard-working people. What do all of these have in common? The common factor here is farming and ranching. And when you bring them all together at a University of Wyoming Cowboy football game, you have a fantastic “Wyoming Needs Agriculture” event.

Held Sept. 17, 2016 in Laramie, the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) “Wyoming Needs Agriculture” event continued with the tradition of a food and fund drive and added an interactive activity. New to this year’s event was an “Ag Olympics” course organized by the Albany County Farm Bureau (ACFB) Young Farmer & Rancher (YF&R) Committee. The ACFB YF&R Committee is led by county chairs Kyle and Stacy Berger. According to the Bergers, the committee was looking for a way to advocate for agriculture and have a little fun as well so partnering at this event with the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation seemed to be a good fit.

“The Ag Olympics course was a way to have fun and at the same time teach people some of the things we do as farmers and ranchers,” said Stacy Berger. “Roping a calf, loading a tire, having to jump over panels…those are the kinds of things we do on a daily basis. It was a great way to advocate for agriculture while having fun.”

Throughout the day, committee members would ask agriculture trivia questions of the audience while they watched people complete the course. Berger said the ag trivia questions surprised her the most as folks were very interested in learning more. “There is a hunger for people to learn more about agriculture,” she said. “As we did the agriculture trivia questions I felt like people were really interested. Watching people’s reactions to the information they were learning was rewarding.”

Food Drive

Along with having fun in the “Ag Olympics” course, Cowboy fans were also invited to share their Poke Pride and recognize that “Wyoming Needs Agriculture!” by participating in WyFB’s “Harvest for All” pre-game event to benefit the Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies (WFBR). Fans making donations to the “Harvest for All” event received a “Wyoming Needs Agriculture” t-shirt. UW Cowboy football fans donated the equivalent of 4,198 meals at the event.

WFBR, Wyoming’s only food bank, serves hunger relief agencies in all of Wyoming’s 23 counties.   Farmers and ranchers from around the state as well as WyFB staff and WFBR staff were on hand to visit with fans during the “Pre-Game Zone” event.

WFBR staff stated they are proud to work with the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation. “Working with the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is such a delight,” said Tonja Funch, Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies. “It’s very rewarding to work together to make a difference for the people in need of additional food resources in Wyoming.  Generous fans provided over 4,198 meals with the canned food and funds that were collected during this drive.  We can’t thank you enough for your generosity.”

Donations will make a difference in the WFBR’s work to fight hunger in Wyoming. Every 1.2 pounds of food donated equals one meal and every dollar equals four meals.

The Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher “Harvest for All” is a national program that raises food and money for local and state food banks that provide hunger relief.

Wyoming Needs Agriculture

Wyoming needs agriculture in so many ways. Agriculture keeps Wyoming strong through the economy, providing open spaces, caring for the land and so much more. While caring for the land, their crops and their animals, farmers and ranchers produce food and provide wildlife habitat.

There are so many stories to be told about how Wyoming Needs Agriculture! Who better to tell them than the farmers and ranchers of this great state. The “Wyoming Needs Agriculture” event provides consumers the opportunity to meet farmers and ranchers at a football game pre-zone event and hear their stories on the radio.