Fields of Hope near Alleman

Name and Position/Title:
Steven Johnson, Farm Management Field Specialist

Fiscal Year Submitted:
2011

POW Title and Number:
125 - Next Generation of Agriculturists

Title:
Fields of Hope near Alleman

Issue (Who cares and Why):
It is often difficult to involve youth in Extension agricultural projects.  That has not been the findings for the Fields of Hope Project near Alleman.  The 6th year of crop production and fund raising was completed in 2010 with active involvement from the 60 members of the North Polk FFA Chapter.

What Did You Do? (Outputs – these may include educational meetings, demonstrations or research, media, facilitating, partnering)
The Fields of Hope Project is one of over 50 Foods Resource Bank (FRB) growing projects statewide.  The project began in 2005 when several local mission-minded farmers worked with rural and urban churches, community organizations and individuals in the Des Moines and Ames areas in an effort to combat world hunger.  Local agribusinesses donate seed and crop protection chemicals and funds are raised to cover the costs of land and other crop related expenses. 

On October 16th, 2010, this year’s project wrapped up with a special harvest celebration and the public invited to attend.  Nearly 100 participants took combine rides, estimated corn yields and had a free lunch with a good will offering. The North Polk FFA set up their Petting Zoo to better connect with participants about rural lifestyles.  Harvest celebration guests included Ron DeWeerd of the Foods Resource Bank along with Antony Mbandi of Kenya, both had attended the World Food Prize in Des Moines earlier that week.

The Fields of Hope near Alleman raised an additional $8,500 in 2010, bringing the total contributions from this project for the Foods Resource Bank to more than $60,000 since 2005.  Of this amount, over $55,000 has been targeted for rural community of Totanicapan in Western Guatemala. These proceeds will be used to purchase food supplies, seeds and tools for farm families and used to initiate hunger elimination and long-term food security programs for 2,800 members of the mountainous rural community.

Page last updated: July 19, 2011
Page maintained by Julie Honeick, jhoneick@iastate.edu