#FoodThanks Outreach

Whether it’s the harvest on the family farm or dish on the dinner table we are all thankful for food during year-round and especially during the holiday season. The #FoodThanks outreach program began in 2010 by the AgChat Foundation. By utilizing Pinterest and Twitter, social media users from all sectors of the ag and food community can share their appreciation for food.

agchat, farmers, thanksgiving, giving thanks, foodthanksFor the third year in a row, we are taking time during the holidays to inspire conversation about and appreciation for the food we eat and the people who produce it,” says Darin Grimm, president of the AgChat Foundation. “Social media platforms provide a space for voices from the whole food system to be expressed, not just voices from agriculture.” 

New this year is the addition of social media channel, Pinterest, as it joins Twitter in the food appreciation movement. Participants can follow the #foodthanks board on Pinterest and “pin” must-try recipes, food photos and other related images to the virtual bulletin board, as well as comment on what others have pinned.

“Pinterest is visual in nature, so it creates the opportunity to see and discuss the images people from farmers to chefs to food companies to moms are pinning related to the food system,” says Emily Zweber, executive director of AgChat Foundation. “I’m pinning things like healthy recipes from chefs, tasty desserts from bloggers, and beautiful stories of farmers and ranchers who grow our food.”

How can you help?

Visit  www.foodthanks.com, the official website for #FoodThanks and you will be led to either Pinterest or Twitter sites to begin using the hashtag and adding to the conversation. We hope to see you there!

Rancher Relief

During the days of October 4-7, 2013, historic winter storm Atlas, bombarded areas in South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska. The resultsRancher and cow bonding of this storm were of epic proportions taking a toll on tens of thousands of cattle and sheep.  There was a monumental economic impact on ranchers and their families however, it was the mental and emotional state that continues to be especially heart breaking.

“Ranching families across the prairie are experiencing the trauma and loss like never before. The loss of livestock is shocking to the core. Our hearts are raw,” stated South Dakota rancher Jodene Shaw.  She continues on her blog, “you don’t just simply go “buy new cows” and start over. The foundation is removed. The legacy. The years. The work. The love. The faith.” She also pointed to the economical impact on families and voiced concern over the toll on ranchers’ emotional investments. Near the end of the post, Shaw reflects, “yesterday, as I saw live cattle, I wanted to wrap my arms around their neck and kiss their faces.”

In an effort to bring emergency relief to ranchers affected by Winter Storm Atlas, AgChat Foundation united with several groups and organizations. With a goal of raising $500,000, the 501(c)3 organization gathered donations and provided 100% of the contributions to rancher led organizations in South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming, including the Rancher Relief Fund established by GiveBlackHills.org. Funds were equally distributed between the states.

AgChat Foundation received the support of many agricultural organizations and agribusinesses such as American Farm Bureau Federation and Tyson Foods. Additionally, the foundation worked with the South Dakota Cattlemen, South Dakota Stockgrowers and South Dakota Sheep growers.

The unified campaign was established at the AgChat Foundation’s giving site. As a 501(c)3 organization, all donations to the Rancher Relief Fund are completely tax deductible.

The AgChat Foundation is honored to have been able to assist in the Rancher Relief efforts.