All American Co-op Recognizes the Importance of Community
All American Co-op has a long history of volunteerism and charitable donations that shows support for the communities that we live and work in. To list out all of the charitable donations and organizations that All American Co-op supports in any given year would show a variety of groups that we feel have earned our support. Our cooperative and its employees feel that it is important to be involved in community activities, fund raisers, celebrations, and youth development.
What is “Community”? By definition, “Community is a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” Community celebrations and activities are just one way that All American Co-op carries an active role of appreciation to the neighborhoods that we are a part of. All American Co-op has an active presence in seven area communities in SE Minnesota. Each one of these towns possess a strong amount of pride in their rich history and are excited to celebrate community in several different ways thru parades, annual celebrations, and chamber of commerce events. Examples would include supporting community pool projects, offering training experiences for area volunteer fire departments, supporting local school activities, sports fundraisers, and being involved in chamber events that promote growth and fellowship. These activities are supported financially by the co-op but more importantly, they are supported actively by the employees at All American Co-op who have strong ties to the communities that they live and work in. We encourage our employees to participate in community activities and rely on them to make us aware of events that they feel All American Co-op should be involved with.
Our cooperative recognizes that it takes the support of our communities to support the future of agriculture. The Ag-Community has so much more to offer than cows and corn. All American Co-op feels strongly about supporting youth education thru FFA and 4-H programs. We do so by rewarding efforts at the competitive level during county fair and group competition events. We offer mentoring programs to assist students; supporting the projects, experiences, and learning efforts they develop to earn credit and recognition within their youth communities. Ag-education is a strong focus area for employees at All American Co-op. Supporting growth and education thru 4-H blue ribbon auctions, FFA Greenhand camps and CDE projects, participating in Ag in the Classroom presentations, supporting the AgStar Miracle of Birth Center at the county fair, and helping to sponsor and educate at Farmcamp Minnesota every summer are all ways that our staff contributes to youth education and development programs that will lead students to be strong active members in our Ag community. Without education there would not be growth. The technology that the 21st century has brought to the playing field has launched a new interest for today’s students to consider agriculture as a part of their future. We need trained individuals to come to the manufacturing, production, sales, finance, science, and technology fields to support what producers are doing on the farm.
Why do farmers farm? By definition, “Farming is the activity or business of growing crops and raising livestock.” Today’s farmer is so much more than this; the bottom line is farmers produce food to feed communities. 1 in 6 children in the Minnesota are at risk of hunger, many do not know where their next meal is coming from. The employees at All American Co-op take this as a challenge to help feed those that need a meal. All American Co-op has organized its own food drive campaign that supports the food shelves in the communities that we do business in. Co-op employees and members have increased our food drive donations in 2014 and hope to do so again in 2015. All American Co-op has also partnered with Nutrablend, Elanco, Diamond V, and Kemin and their “Drive to Feed” campaign. These feed additive suppliers are working together with others in the feed industry and animal agribusiness community to raise awareness about hunger, to educate the consumer of agriculture’s role in solving the problem, and to take active steps to fight hunger at a local level. All American Co-op has partnered with the “Drive to Feed” efforts and has donated over $3000 of monies earned to four local school BackPack programs. School meal programs only meet the needs of children during the school week. The BackPack program helps provide food for the weekend to help meet the nutritional needs of children when they are not at school. The “Drive to Feed” tour has helped to dispel many of the myths and misconceptions about modern American agriculture which is the supplier of the safest food production in the world. As a result, fundraising efforts have offered huge support across the nation to local programs to help stop hunger and malnutrition. Let’s face it, we have all heard the numbers and they are not getting any smaller. “By 2050 we will need 70% more food to feed the global population of 9 billion people”; industry leaders are now saying that this number is growing. Taking advantage of matching funds that our corporate partners make available is an added benefit that All American Co-op is pleased to use to give back to our communities.
Agriculture accounts for 10% of the jobs in the state of Minnesota. Volunteerism, charitable donations, and community involvement are initiating conversations that promote knowledge and understanding about the technology and innovation that help the modern farming community meet the challenges facing future generations. These are all reasons why All American Co-op supports community education, youth development, and industry fundraising efforts. We take pride in building strong relationships thru our charitable donation efforts.